Community leaders praise broadband benefits as Toowoomba connects
Chamber of Commerce urges families and businesses to sign up to superfast broadband.
Civic leaders in Toowoomba today joined forces to formally mark the connection of parts of the city to the National Broadband Network's fibre optic cable and praise the benefits superfast broadband will bring to the Darling Downs.
Around 1,700 homes and businesses are now able to connect to the NBN in Toowoomba, the first city in South East Queensland to join the network.
Six internet service providers are ready to sign up families and businesses to the NBN. They are: iiNet, Telstra, Internode, iPrimus, TransACT and Westnet.
Mayor of Toowoomba Regional Council, Paul Antonio welcomed the opportunities the NBN would bring to people who live and work in the leading educational and economic centre for the Darling Downs region.
"It is a special privilege to be the first city in South East Queensland to connect to the NBN," said Mr Antonio.
"We're excited about the growth and innovation opportunities it brings to our local businesses and industry, but also the flexibility it allows our students to study online and keep in touch with family, particularly those attending boarding school here. It's a significant milestone for the community and we're looking forward to making the most of it."
President of the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Andrew Wielandt, said the NBN was potentially a game-changer for the regional economy.
"The NBN will enhance the way people in our local region live and work. I would urge families and businesses to sign up to the NBN so they can take advantage of the benefits superfast broadband will bring to one of Australia's most liveable cities."
The fibre optic broadband network will replace copper telephone lines across Australia over the next eight and half years.
Key benefits include enabling people to work from home as they would at the office; getting the whole family online at once; access to high-definition health services online; and being able to stream TV without stuttering and buffering. *
The NBN will also increase access to online education courses, according to the University of Southern Queensland (USQ).
"We are seeing a significant increase in the number of students enrolling in our university programs and studying on-line. With the high-speed internet connections provided by the NBN, even more students will be able to take advantage of the on-line delivery of education programs giving them more flexibility in how and where they study," said Vice-Chancellor & President Professor Jan Thomas.
"Coupled with the advances USQ is making in its on-screen teaching, learning and research spaces, NBN connectivity will allow Wi-Fi technologies and smartphones to be more commonly used as a teaching tool over the coming years."
Work has commenced on rolling out the NBN to 26,000 Toowoomba premises, including the 1,700 now able to connect.
Construction is planned to have commenced or be completed for more than 678,000 homes and businesses across Queensland - and 3.5 million, or a third of the nation's premises - by mid-2015.
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* We're designing the NBN to provide superfast speeds to our wholesale customers, telephone and internet service providers. Your experience depends on some factors outside our control, like your equipment quality, software, broadband plans and how your service provider designs its network.