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A Broadband BOOST

Rural based Central Highlands businesses and not-for-profits are set to receive a broadband boost with the announcement made by the Minister for Communications, Senator Stephen Conroy this week. The announcement heralds significant changes to National Broadband Network (NBN) Fixed Wireless and Satellite services.

This is a win for regional and rural based user across Central Highlands according to local eCommerce users.

The NBN’s fixed wireless and long term satellite broadband speeds will be upgraded to provide 25 megabits per second download and 5 megabits per second upload (25/5 Mbps) The 25/5 Mbps service will be available by mid-2013 on the fixed wireless network and from the start of operation of the long term satellite service in 2015.

Wholesale prices for internet service providers who retail NBN packages to regional and rural broadband users will be pegged at the same rate as they are for fibre users in the cities. The Centre for eCommerce and Communications at University of Ballarat is celebrating the announcement.

Director of the Centre Dr. Helen Thompson is a National Broadband Champion and is recognised by the Australian Government as one of 21 advocates supporting the positive benefits associated with broadband technology.

“The faster speed for fixed wireless and satellite broadband means the rural and regional divide is narrowed. This is great news for homes, farms and businesses, that have until now been restricted by slow broadband speed and limited provider choice,” Dr. Thompson said.

Dr. Thompson advises the Centre for eCommerce and Communications is working with the Australian government, and with State and local government across the region, to help businesses become NBN ready.

“Upgrading the hard infrastructure is just part of the strategy to ensure our regional economy receives a boost from broadband. Businesses need to upgrade skills and adopt new practices if the technology is to really bring benefit,” Dr Thompson said.

“Free Digital Enterprise mentoring and workshops are available to businesses and community groups across the region through our Digital Enterprise project.” More information on the FREE training and mentoring for businesses and not-for-profit organisations can be found at www.digibiz.net.au END Alert

Media Information:

Central Highlands Digital Enterprise Project
Project Manager: Gerrie Carr-MacFie
Email: g.carr-macfie@ballarat.edu.au
Website: www.digibiz.net.au

Interview Opportunity: YES

Photo Opportunity: YES

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