Tag Archives: NBN Rollout

Learn How Digital Technologies Will Help Your Agribusiness

The National Broadband Network (NBN) will deliver High Speed Broadband speeds to everyone in Australia. By 2015 farmers in the remotest parts of Australia can expect to start receiving high speed broadband services that will change the way they work and live.

To help business owners understand the benefits of the technology Digital Agriculture are running a webinar on the 13th of June.

Visit the webinars event page to learn more about registering for the event and who should attend.

Prepare Your Business For The Opportunities With The NBN

Fergal Coleman – Director of Symphony3 recently presented on the how businesses can prepare for opportunities presented by the NBN.

Below are the slides of the presentation. Some great information there on using the NBN, how your business needs to change and what are the benefits.

After you view the slides let us know via twitter how you have OR plan to prepare your business for the digital economy.

[slideshare id=22101633&doc=digitalbusiness-broadband-20may20130519-130528224135-phpapp02]

Run through some of our diagnostics to prepare your business for the NBN.

Smart Homes – How Will They Help?

The Broadband Smart House Project

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.

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Falls Creek – a digital economy contradiction

For the latest in our series on digital economy planning in Victoria’s North East we spoke to David Herman, CEO of Falls Creek Resort Management. This article explores some of the issues that we discussed with David, looking at current and future infrastructure needs for Falls Creek, and more generally at broadband connectivity issues for alpine communities in Australia.

Falls Creek is a location facing a major challenge with digital infrastructure. In 2012, the Australian ski industry is highly developed in its use of digital media to communicate with visitors from Australia and around the world. This has been vital for marketing the regions in the lead up to and during each ski season, and for communicating with visitors after they arrive. Victoria’s alpine resorts have also looked to develop sustainable industries outside the main winter boom, such as all-season tourism options. However, their plans for the future are overshadowed by the potential for limited or no access to the high-speed broadband services that are expected to transform the economies of other regional towns.

In many regards, Australia’s alpine resorts are some of our most sophisticated regions in terms of their adoption of digital technologies. Weather reports, snowfalls, news, events and other information is sent out hourly via the Falls Creek website and social media accounts. This year, the resort became the first Australian town to be equipped with Near-Field Computing (NFC) technology – allowing visitors to over 50 local businesses to instantly access resort information via their smartphones.

The town transforms during the winter, as visitors flock to the region. Each year, telecommunications infrastructure is placed under greater strain as visitors bring more mobile devices with them. This year telecommunication services could not keep up with the increased demand – leaving Falls Creek visitors with limited access while the company struggled to increase capacity. The resort’s mobile network is expected to improve, but it demonstrated the problems that Falls Creek faces when demand from visitors outstrips the resources available to the town.

Currently, Victoria’s alpine resorts are not included in the NBN rollout plan. The remote location and low permanent population of each resort count against them, and Falls Creek Management has been informed that the resort is not listed at present to receive NBN access. The town has a relatively small population outside of the peak season, with only 250 permanent residents – although they are an important tourism hub, receiving approximately 600,000 visitors each year. During the 18 week ski season alone, close to 400,000 people arrive in the resort village.

Regional advantages

The benefits of living 1,600 metres above sea level aren’t limited to snow on the slopes. Around the world, alpine regions are beginning to use their low temperatures and high altitude locations as competitive regional advantages. The development of sustainable all-season tourism options has been a priority for Falls Creek.

Falls Creek is already used by many athletes for high altitude training, between November and March each year. High-profile teams like the Melbourne Rebels and Geelong Football Club have begun sending their players up to the mountains for physical conditioning on the region’s running trails, cycling routes and lake courses. To further develop their capacity in this area, the resort is planning a $30 million Altitude Training Facility – incorporating football field, gym, swimming pool and sports medicine facilities. This would fill a local niche for specialist high altitude facilities, such as those offered by the USOC’s flagship training centre in Colorado Springs.

Even outside the ski season, low temperatures can be an advantage. As Australia moves to a more service-oriented economy, cloud computing options for software and data storage are increasingly important. Data centres generate a lot of heat, and cooling them to workable temperatures requires vast amounts of energy. Across the northern hemisphere, tech giants have begun to build their newest data centres in cold regions – making use of the low ambient temperatures to reduce their energy consumption. These include Facebook’s new data center in Lulea, Sweden, Yahoo’s hydro-powered facility in Lockport, New York State and Google’s €200 million investment in Hamina, Finland. The scale of these developments show that major players in this industry are serious about the benefits of operating in these regions.

With only 0.01% of Australia’s surface area in alpine regions, we have a limited number of communities that could take advantage of their natural cold climate; developing new industries to service a digital economy while reducing our environmental impact. Leaving resort communities like Falls Creek ‘off the grid’ of the national broadband network seems a short-sighted plan: successful alpine towns around the world are showing that the mountains are far more than just a winter holiday destination.

Tree changes, regional economies and the NBN at Alpine Shire Council

For today’s update, we spoke to Clayton Neil about the NBN, business and local government in the Alpine Shire Council.


Clayton spoke about how increasing numbers of people are moving to the Alpine Shire region for a ‘tree change’ – relocating to the mountains for a lifestyle change, but often bringing their work with them as well. Where existing infrastructure has allowed them to, many have relocated entire businesses away from Melbourne. These are typically the businesses that are most excited about the NBN rollout, as it gives them better access to staff and customers.

Many traditional business challenges still apply, such as finding appropriately skilled staff and evolving business processes to keep up with industry changes. Clayton notes that new technology is not a panacea – while new tools can bring many benefits, they are still just one part of the mix for each business. As the NBN rollout continues, councils can play a valuable role as conduits during this period – linking local residents and businesses with relevant information, research and contacts.

SMBs are the NBN’s sweet spot: ZDnet article

There was an excellent article y , on June 12th 2012, entitled “SMBs are the NBN’s sweet spot.”

The article’s key points include:

  • NBN take-up rates among small and medium businesses approaching 90 per cent in some regional first-release sites
  • Dr Jane Burns, CEO of Melbourne-based adolescent support initiative the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre, sees pervasive NBN broadband as a way of extending traditional support mechanisms all the way into homes
  • For the GPs, new forms of patient interaction offer opportunities to improve the service for existing customers and develop service offerings to attract new ones
  • Some critics and detractors are still very vocal. However according to Trent Williams, General Manager External Affairs at the NBN, the network itself tended to silence critics once they understood its benefits.

Read the article here.

NBN fibre rollout at Hume – Shepparton, Wodonga and Tatura to benefit early

Details of the next phase of the NBN fibre rollout was announced on the 29th March 2012.

THe following details were announced for the Hume Region:

NBN for Shepparton being rolled out from  Feb 2013 to Dec 2013
NBN for Wodonga being rolled out Sept 2014 to June 2015
NBN for Tatura being rolled out from June 2015

All other larger towns will be installed beyond June 2015. Let us know your thoughts? Are you from Shepparton, Wodonga or Tatura? What does this mean for your community?