The recent Hume Digital strategy emphasised that the region needs to maximise the impact of the NBN in order to enable future success. The report acknowledged that there are some big challenges including:
- Supply gaps and unmet needs in the region
- Time – it will take up to ten years to roll the NBN out across the region
- Not all areas will receive 100Mbps
The RDA Hume Committee dedicated to implementing the strategy have committed to:
- Ensuring good working partnerships between the three tiers of government via the Hume strategy partnership group, NBN Co and other broadband and mobile providers
- Increasing the use of and access to existing public sector networks
- Exploring the creation of regional data centres in and for the Hume Region
Some longer-term actions that the region will examine include:
- Generating innovative solutions for improving wireless broadband supply
- Aggregating demand for and purchasing of high-speed broadband services to reduce cost and improve quality
- Exploring how to aggregate demand for and purchasing of of high speed services to reduce costs and improve quality
CASE STUDY: Public Sector Demand Aggregation – HumeNET
The HumeNET fibre, serving the Hume Regional Alliance, formed in 2006 and built on the former HumeNET Ltd and the Hume ICT Alliance, runs HumeNET, a broadband network linking healthcare centres. Service areas encompass acute health, community and primary health, and some local GP network connections. The Hume Rural Health Alliance spans regional hospitals, 14 community health providers and nine health information service providers. One of the local users of HumeNET, the Alexandra District Hospital, is consistently recognised as one of the leaders in the delivery or rural healthcare and has received awards and nominations in the Victorian Healthcare Awards every year since 2006.
As a member of the Hume Rural Health Alliance and long term user of the HumeNET fibre network, the experience of the hospital points to the opportunities associated with high-speed broadband access, but also where there remain important obstacles for further participation and use.
Do you have an opinion on how to maximise the use of the NBN in the region? We’d love to hear your thoughts.