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(Australian Associated Press)
National Broadband Network connectivity is leading to more Australian women starting businesses, a report has found.
The number of self-employed women working from home grew at twice the rate in NBN connected areas, compared to places without fast broadband.
The Connecting Australia report, commissioned by NBN Co, found an additional 52,200 women are expected to be business owners by 2021 due to NBN access.
There was a 2.4 per cent jump for female self-employment in regional Australian towns with NBN connectivity.
The latest NBN progress report has 4.5 million homes and businesses connected to a broadband plan, up from 3.1 million at the same time last year.
But it means three million people have access but do not have a plan, with the ready-to-connect figure at 7.5 million, up from 6.4 million a year ago.
NBN Co chief executive Stephen Rue said better internet was helping women get back into work quicker after having a child and creating more opportunities in rural areas.
“Fast broadband is supporting new ways that women are engaging with the workforce,” he said.
“The NBN network is helping to provide real opportunities for women to find that balance between an engaging career and family life.”
Entrepreneur Naomi Simson said she had noticed a jump in female business owners in her travels around Australia.
“When self-employed women in these communities become true entrepreneurs or business owners, employing others in the local community, that’s when the real value and impact will be amplified even further,” she said.