NBN Co Blog
Fri 24 FEBComment
Why change can be a beautiful thing: stories from Gippsland, Sale and Morwell, VIC
Posted on Friday 24 February 2012 by Nichola Parker
Let the mainland begin! We've had our first jam-packed week in Victoria, with the NBN Co Truck visiting Gippsland, Sale and Morwell. We also had a community information session in Bacchus Marsh.
One of the most interesting parts of my job is talking to local people and hearing the most fascinating stories and personal histories - along with their views on technology and the NBN!
Rachael Lucas, a journalist from ABC Online in the Gippsland area, visited us in Bairnsdale and also Sale and brought some wonderful insights into the more rural and remote communities that she visits in her job.
She pinpointed isolation as a real problem in many regional and rural areas -- a large proportion of the elderly community in Gippsland live in more isolated areas, posing problems to their health and quality of life.
However, she pointed out that while services delivered over the NBN have some great potential around health and aged care, it's a big change for some people, especially those who still have yet to fully take advantage of the internet and the variety of gadgets we use to access it.
Rachael illustrated the point to us with an old TV ad for a new-fangled washing machine. In the ad, a group of women were washing their clothes in a river by banging them against some rocks.
Then, someone brought them a shiny new washing machine. The women looked at it quizzically and scratched their heads. In the next scene, all the women were bashing their clothes against the washing machine, rather than the rocks, and were very pleased with the new contraption!
Rachael's point is that despite all the benefits of technology, it is a change some will take a while to get used to and figure out how to use it!
Technology has already changed a lot in people's lifetimes and some people I spoke to remember it rather fondly.
Ronald Yeates, a local visitor who came into the truck in Bairnsdale, remembered when he first started his career in politics, he would trawl through encyclopaedia after encyclopaedia in his local library, spending hours finding information for his employer to use in his presentations.
When the internet became available, his employer at the time was on an important phone call and whispered "can you please research 'straw money'", a term that had come up on the call that he wasn't familiar with.
Ronald was able to "Google" this information and give it to his boss while he was still on the call - something we all take for granted these days, but just 10 years ago was practically impossible.
I thought this was a great example of how technology has already changed the way some of us work. In fact, the word Google is now so commonly used, it's replaced the phrase "look it up" with let's "Google it" for many of us.
Our networks have already changed so much; I remember when I first started using a computer and the internet everyone was on dial up.
I would turn on my computer and wait for the internet to connect while I went to make a cup of tea, the computer would make that little beeping noise and take forever, now I expect to click and go.
While building the NBN is a big change to our telecommunications network, once it is built, high speed broadband will become such an integral part of our daily lives we will probably wonder how we ever lived without it.
When we talk about speeds delivered over the National Broadband Network, we are referring to the wholesale speed to telephone and internet service providers. The speed you can achieve, and services you can use, on your individual connection will depend on many factors including the services you subscribe to, the software and communication protocols you use, quality of your equipment and connection to your home/business, the broadband plans offered by your telephone or internet provider and how it designs its network to cater for multiple users.
Recent blog posts