THE National Broadband Network could save households thousands of dollars by the end of the decade through better productivity, cheaper communication and reduced travel costs.

A Deloitte Access Economics analysis for the government says the average household would get $3800 in benefits a year by 2020 through using the NBN.

It quantifies the savings, in 2013 dollars, for communications, e-commerce, online entertainment services, travel savings, employment by teleworkers and productivity.

“Added together, these estimates suggest very significant household benefits from broadband,” the report, posted on the broadband department website, states.

But it notes its estimates don’t take into account the costs of broadband or equipment like modems and computers.

It cautions the report is not a cost-benefit analysis of high-speed broadband.

“Many of the benefits will emerge gradually, as consumers find price discounts and variety online, as more employees are allowed to telework, and as people get more accustomed to accessing services online,” the report states.

“There will be a lot of change from the broadband revolution and there will be a gradual transition this decade.”

Labor intends to highlight the report today, saying it shows the NBN will not only transform the Australian economy and improve national competitiveness, but also directly benefit every family.

Opposition communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull said the internet speeds cited in the report were also achievable under the Coalition’s broadband policy.

He said the report does not compare Labor’s fibre-to-the-home approach to the Coalition’s fibre-to-the-node policy.

“It’s not an argument in favour of fibre-to-the-premises, it’s an argument in favour of everyone having very fast broadband, and I agree with that,” Mr Turnbull said.

“But they should have it now.

“The way Labor is going it will take decades.

“The speeds Deloitte are referring to here are all available under our approach.”

Factbox – How the NBN will help in 2020.

* $74 saved on communications through social engagement and social media

* $565 saved on e-commerce through travel savings and better choice

* $269 saved on online services like entertainment

* $217 travel savings through using e-health, e-education and e-government services

* $634 employment-related savings through telework and less travel

* $1930 on productivity savings through lower prices and better quality.

Figures in 2013 dollars for average household savings in a year.

Source: Deloitte Access Economics.

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