The second strategic focus of the Hume Digital Strategy is to get everyone online by 2017. The economic gain from enabling an extra 10 per cent of the population to get online has been estimated by the Federal Government as resulting in a minimum increase of over 0.5 per cent in the areas output or wealth.
Obviously ensuring access for the community is the first step in getting people online which is the first strategic focus of the report. Once the platform is in place we still need to ensure we get region-wide participation and that we develop the skills needed to participate effectively in order to ensure digital readiness. (see Figure below. source: Hume Digital Strategy)
The region as a whole must commit to a “broad campaign and program of projects to raise enthusiasm, skills and digital inclusion”. The specific actions outlined in the strategy are:
To set a bold target for all online by 2017. The aim is to drive and motivate partners and the community towards the goal of a networked region
To develop a tool to assess broadband readiness and the use of digital media
To ensure partners make digital inclusion a priority and are digital champions for their area, client or community group
Ensuring best practice is shared and activities coordinated
Focusing on groups at risk of digital exclusion such as over 60s, the indigenous community, people with a disability, recent migrants and refugees
Focusing on businesses that historically have low take up, such as those in agriculture and hospitality sectors, and small business enterprises
Focusing on re-skilling and/or up-skilling those in work or seeking to enter the workforce
Exploiting libraries and other relevant public infrastructure to act as key digital hubs for access and skills
Driving up community acquisition and use of digital skills and demand for broadband through increased digitisation of services and engagement with residents via online platforms and social media, and
Ensuring public spaces have WI-FI connectivity/availability
The goal of the Broadband Smart House project is demonstrate the use of the real-world applications of the NBN, including home automation, remote health monitoring, video-conferencing, rehabilitation, education, remote business, sensor monitoring, and environmental sustainability.(Source: RDA Northern Inland, 2013)
A smart home in Armidale, NSW has been created to conduct live workshops & demonstrations on the benefits of this new technology. The house is fitted with functioning installations where a typical family of four can try out the new technologies. At first instance the house will also be used by local TAFE and University students to trial and demonstrate various cutting-edge projects across a range of areas.
Kym & Kaye Bernardi have owned and operated the BIG4 Shepparton East Holiday Park for 14 years. They are an independent member of BIG4 Holiday Parks franchise, which has parks all around Australia. They currently have 23 self-contained cabins, 12 ensuite powered sites, powered caravan & tent sites and 12 mobile homes. The park predominantly caters for the family market. Both Kym & Kaye have made significant capital investment into technology and their park ensuring it has some of the best family friendly facilities like giant jumping pillow, solar heated pool, synthetic grass tennis court, pedal go-karts, recreation room and camp kitchens.
The video below was shot at the NBN Discovery on the 11th of May during the visit of the Hume RDA delegation. The footage shows how highspeed broadband will assist with health issues and also how good video conferencing will be for all of us in the near future!
Welcome to our newly created Digital Economy @ Hume blog. Over the next few months the Hume Regional Development Australia Committee together with Symphony3 will be undertaking a project to help build awareness and support educating our region about utilising digital infrastructure and realising the opportunities provided by digital communications and the digital economy.
Being able to realise the opportunities will provide many economic and social benefits to individuals, organisations and communities. These opportunities have been recognised by the National Digital Economy Strategy as including:
Greater online participation in households
More online engagement by businesses and not-for-profit organisations
Smarter management of our environment and infrastructure
Improvement in the delivery of health and aged care
Expansion of online education
Increased capacity to telework.
Our aim at Hume is to pursue these same opportunities to enhance the lives of everyone living in, working in and visiting our region.
Over the coming months there will be multiple opportunities to participate in activities either online or face to face to gain an understanding of various forms of digital infrastructure that will be provided in the Hume Region and the potential opportunities to take advantage of the rollout of new infrastructure. We encourage everyone in our community to get involved – so please comment, tweet, and share your ideas with us as we create our plan.