KARDEN Disability Support Foundation chief executive officer Karen McCraw says the National Broadband Network has the potential to revolutionise the way their disability services are offered.
The Mair Street organisation will be among 6000 households and businesses in Ballarat Central and Newington to connect first to the National Broadband Network’s fibre service, according to NBN Co’s first fibre map for Ballarat.
Ms McCraw said the NBN paved the way for a world of opportunities, including the ability for patients to connect with therapists and specialists from their homes.
“It’s quite difficult to get access to therapists in smaller communities and even in Ballarat,” she said.
“This is a real challenge for so many people we work with.
“Certainly its an option we’re all looking at accessing.”
She said the NBN could also increase employment opportunities for people with a disability, by helping them to work from home using assistive technology.
Commerce Ballarat director Ben Brown said he believed the NBN would allow local businesses to access resources and information in a more cost effective manner.
Mr Brown, who is also the owner of Mason Brown IT, said his own company would certainly benefit from access to faster broadband.
“From a business perspective myself, I can’t wait,” he said.
Mr Brown said while many business owners were conscious of the NBN’s introduction, they were less aware of how they would connect to the service and what was required of them to fully utilise it.
“There are a lot of business that need to adopt an online strategy to promote their practices online and it’ll give them a better platform to do that,” he said.
“I go out into a lot of rural areas and the fixed wireless services are in real need for many businesses. I think it’ll be really beneficial to them.”
The owner of Simply Geeks It Solutions in central Ballarat Kara Ferris said the NBN would make her job easier in supporting clients.
She said some clinets were so frustrated by drop outs they no longer bothered using the internet.
“I do have clients who have drop outs and lots of connectivity issues,” she said.
“It’ll mean less complaints of internet drop outs, less frustrations and more clients happy.”