NBN: Ballarat thrilled to megabits

By Tom McIlroy
Updated November 2 2012 - 6:45am, first published October 18 2011 - 2:19am
Ballarat community leaders have welcomed news of a start on NBN construction here.

BALLARAT community leaders strongly welcomed the announcement of National Broadband Network construction in Ballarat, saying it will benefit local business, education and health. The city edged out regional centres including Bendigo and Geelong to be named as one of 28 locations in the latest construction plan for NBN Co. Mayor Craig Fletcher said the network would help cement the city’s reputation as a centre of information technology excellence.“Council, through Ballarat ICT has always sought to position Ballarat at the forefront of the NBN, to maximise technology and business opportunities afforded by this development. Cr Fletcher said the network implementation in 8900 premises would help businesses and industry maximise opportunities and help create jobs.Click here to see a map of regions to benefit from the NBN rollout Helen Thompson, director of the University of Ballarat Commerce and Communications Centre, said Ballarat was ahead of many parts of Australia. “The advantage Ballarat has is its strong ICT industry and a very strong university sector and I think from a social perspective and an economic perspective being early in the rollout process is a really exciting possibility for us. Small business, agriculture, health and export businesses will all benefit because this is an underpinning infrastructure piece for a modern economy,” Dr Thompson said. Ballarat Health Services’ chief Andrew Rowe said access to the network would help facilitate the development of eHealth. “BHS is excited by the possibilities of the NBN because of the speed at which it will be able to transmit large volumes of health-related information,” Mr Rowe said. Local IT expert George Fong said the local delivery of the NBN would give the city a base on which to build a further communications structures.Editorial: broadband rollout can give Ballarat a vital edge