As more and more people are being forced to remain at home during the coronavirus pandemic, one of Ballarat's leading internet specialists has said the region's bandwidth is set for a major test.
Speaking to The Courier, George Fong said Australia as a whole could be seen as behind the times when it comes to working remotely.
"To be honest, Australia is a little behind the times when it comes to how we work remotely or from home," he said.
"I think this is probably the first time we have been put in a position where we are forced to rethink how we do things.
"In the past it hasn't been taken that seriously... in 2014 there was a state government report from an inquiry about telework in regional areas but employees didn't really embrace it."
Mr Fong said while a lot of people may be well equipped to work from home in terms of the technology they possess, companies need to do a better job of teaching employees how to take advantage of the resources available to them.
"It's hard to say how prepared people are to work from home, however anybody with an Ipad is equipped with a pretty capable portable conference call device.
"A lot of companies have been slow to move towards using programs like Zoom and Skype and giving their staff the correct toolkits for situations like this."
Moving forward, Mr Fong said he hopes this epidemic will act as a catalyst for change, pushing Australia to be better equipped and more ready for a similar event in the future.
"I really hope this will act as a catalyst. There are concerns about the NBN, there's no question regional areas are likely to be on tenterhooks right now.
"There is some compromise that we will have to put up with until the government realizes that regional areas need that bandwidth more than metropolitan areas.
"This is going to be a real test for the NBN, and it's probably going to last at least a year or so."
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