Ballarat connects to broadband gold
National Broadband Network now passes 12,000 homes and businesses
Just as Ballarat was at the forefront of the 1800s gold rush, the ‘Golden City’ is again a leader in Australia after the National Broadband Network (NBN) was today officially switched on to parts of the city.
The NBN now covers more than 12,000 homes, businesses and properties in the Ballarat area with the latest additions to the network including around 2,700 premises between Ballarat’s CBD and Newington (shown in map).
The NBN fixed wireless network, covering 9,900 properties just outside of Ballarat, was switched on in late 2013 while fibre connections are expected to go live for another 7,000 premises in coming months.
Local business ‘Specialists on Drummond’ played host to today’s switch on ceremony, with David Ryan, Chief Information Officer from the Grampians Rural Health Alliance, showing off the possibilities that access to the NBN can bring to locals with a ‘tele-health’ consultation.
The NBN-enabled remote injury assessment and consultation, performed by Ballarat District Nurse Narelle Burgess, showed how access to the NBN can help eliminate the time it takes to travel to specialist medical services.*
“What we’re seeing today is that access to interactive consultations by medical professionals via fast broadband can help address the medical gap between urban and regional Australians,”* said Mr Ryan.
Vice President of the Internet Society of Australia and locally based ICT business owner, George Fong, agrees but says the NBN doesn’t just offer potential health benefits; it opens up a world of new possibilities for homes and businesses in the area too.
“Access to the NBN can be a powerful tool for members of regional communities, young or old and businesses of every description, to become even greater participants on the national and even international stage in everything from education and work to connecting with relatives,”* said Mr Fong.
“People who have already made the switch tell us they enjoy having all the family online at once, making high-quality video calls, enjoy fast movie downloads and streaming TV,”* said NBN Co spokesperson Trent Williams.
NBN Co is hosting an information kiosk at Central Square Shopping Centre until 16 February 2014. Visit the kiosk to talk to an NBN Co team member about what better broadband could bring you.
A range of telephone companies and internet service providers are available to connect families and businesses to the NBN. For more information visit: www.nbnco.com.au/serviceproviders.
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Notes to editors
- The National Broadband Network is an upgrade to Australia’s existing telecommunications network. It’s designed to provide Australians with access to fast, affordable and reliable internet services, as well as phone services, as quickly and as cost-effectively as possible.
- For Ballarat residents, living or working in the ready for service area (shown in the attached map) the 18 month countdown to disconnection of most existing landline phone and internet services started on 8 November 2013.** Other areas will have different disconnection dates depending on when the NBN becomes available in each area.
- Eligible residents should search ‘getting connected’ on the nbnco.com.au website.
- Home and business owners in areas with scheduled disconnection dates will receive letters from NBN Co with details about how to switch to services over the NBN.
- Homes and businesses that have an existing medical or security alarm systems should contact their alarm device provider and service provider to enquire about how their device can work over the NBN.
* Your experience including the speeds actually achieved over the NBN depends on some factors outside our control like your equipment quality, software, broadband plans and how your service provider designs its network.
** Services not replaced by the NBN include TransACT, OptiComm, some Telstra Velocity services and others. For a full list please visit www.nbnco.com.au/switchoff or call us on 1800 687 626. Optus cable internet services may also be switched off on a different date and existing customers