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Business belief in Internet economy

DESPITE many companies slashing their online budgets in recent times, more than half of Australian businesses believe they are participating in the Internet economy, a new report has found.

The survey of 621 Australian companies, prepared by The Allen Consulting Group and launched by Federal Communications Minister Richard Alston last week, found 55 per cent of companies were involved in the new economy. Of those surveyed, 66 per cent said that being online brought them cost savings of between 1 per cent and 5 per cent.

The communications industry was the biggest participator in the Internet economy at 90 per cent. At the other end of the scale, only 40 per cent of agriculture and mining firms said they participated in the new economy.

The survey found that, despite the rise and fall of dot.coms and current difficulties in the IT sector, the Internet economy was alive and well. The report found many businesses are using the Internet as a tool within their operations rather than a stand-alone source of income.

Online operations were responsible for generating 4.3 per cent of revenues. However, just 1 per cent of businesses surveyed earned their entire revenues from the Internet.

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