Article by Anna Anderson in Domain section of the Sydney morning Herald on

Property buyers now look for high-speed broadband access

When Andrew Brown, 26, discovered a cupboard full of wires and equipment while he was inspecting an apartment in Divercity, he knew he’d found his new home. ”I already liked the apartment so when I found it was connected to the NBN it was, ‘OK, cool. Let’s go with this’.”

Andrew Brown in his apartment. Photo: Fiona Morris

Andrew Brown in his apartment. Photo: Fiona Morris

For Mr Brown, a self-employed graphics and web designer who works from home, internet speed is more a necessity than a luxury.  ”We get about five times the speed we were getting at our old apartment at Elizabeth Bay,”  Mr Brown said.

It is also cheaper than using the traditional copper internet lines. ”It was about $80 a month  in Elizabeth Bay but here we’re paying about $60 [a month].”

 From small time to world wide at the click of a button

July 31, 2012

For Linda Sanders, life in the small town of Willunga, 47 kilometres south of Adelaide, has been anything but quiet since she got connected to the National Broadband Network (NBN).

Linda Sanders

Linda Sanders

Willunga was one of the first places in Australia to be connected to the high-speed broadband network, and Mrs Sanders says she wasn’t really ready for it.

“The day the technicians came to install the line at our place, we didn’t know where they should put it. We had to tell them to come back another day,” Mrs Sanders said.

Now she can’t imagine life without the NBN. She and husband, Kevin, operate a promotional banner-making business solely online. They left their bricks and mortar shop in 1999 and turned it into a successful internet business. Life has become much easier for this team now they have fast, reliable internet.

“We use multiple computers, but when one of us wanted to upload or download something we had to tell the others not to touch their computers. It was really hard to get jobs done quickly. Now, we can be online all the time sending and receiving things without a hitch,” Mrs Sanders said.


 Pair sold on NBN benefits

TONY RAGGATT September 26th, 2012

TOWNSVILLE businessmen Terry Hurlock and Peter Hone love the National Broadband Network but they’re not geeks.

BETTER CONNECTIONS: Terry Hurlock (left) and Peter Hone say the NBN allows them to hold more intelligent conversations with their clients, especially overseas | Photo: CAMERON LAIRD

BETTER CONNECTIONS: Terry Hurlock (left) and Peter Hone say the NBN allows them to hold more intelligent conversations with their clients, especially overseas | Photo: CAMERON LAIRD

Their business in Patrick St, Aitkenvale happened to be within the pilot area for some of the first connections to the NBN in Australia and when they connected, they could see the benefits.

“When it came along the street, I wasn’t terribly excited,” Mr Hurlock said.

“Now we are using it, I’m convinced it’s the best thing since sliced bread.

“It’s been a remarkable success for us.”

The pair operate Investment Pathways, a company which helps inventors commercialise their products.

NBN has not so much transformed the way they do business – at least not yet – but it has allowed them to work faster and better than before.

Mr Hone said the Skype program, which he uses for video conferencing, is now far better after connecting to the NBN.

“Skype doesn’t break up and fail like it used to,” Mr Hone said.

Eco-tourism business flourishes thanks to the NBN


Donald Williams

When Donald Williams’ satellite broadband dish was struck by lightning, the West Australian tour operator realised just how vital a reliable internet service was to his business.

The owner-operator of Hi Vallee Farm in Badgingarra, 240km from Perth organises organised eco tours of WA’s stunning wild flower displays, and says getting in contact with potential and existing customers proved almost impossible.

“I used to have drive about three kilometres to a hill, power up the laptop and use the mobile broadband device to try and hook up to the internet. And I had to do it at night because I couldn’t see the computer screen in the daylight,” he said. “It was a bit of a circus.”

Mr Williams decided to shop around for a new satellite broadband supplier and chose to connect to one offering services over the National Broadband Network (NBN) – the best business move he has ever made.

“We have a lot of overseas customers and now I can not just receive their emails inquiring about tours more quickly and reliably, I can send them photographs of the sights they will see. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words,” he said.

The NBN satellite broadband service has also been useful in Mr Williams’ work as a consultant in eco-tourism and wild flowers for the WA Wildflower Society in relation to accessing materials and resources and getting information out.

“A report is not a report now unless it has a picture on every page and with our old satellite service I would have to break up reports to be able to send them, even if they contained only a few pictures,” he said.

“Now I can send whole reports, quickly and reliably, with as many pictures I need.

Benefits for Townsville academic

Ian Atkinson

Ian Anderson

Whether it’s dad Ian chatting on Skype with students and colleagues around the world, mum Maria using the internet to view university lectures or the kids learning music or dance through YouTube, the Atkinson family loves its National Broadband Network (NBN) connection.

Since October 2011, the NBN has made a huge difference to the way this family works, studies and plays, and for dad — e-research specialist Professor Ian Atkinson — its greatest benefit is that it’s brought his home a level of connectivity he could previously only find at his workplace, James Cook University (JCU) in Townsville.

Now when he needs to teleconference with his PhD student and a co-supervisor in Germany, Professor Atkinson can do it from the comfort of his study or lounge room instead of having to head back to work at 8pm and be away until 10pm.

“That would have been absolutely impossible before the NBN came along and it’s much less of an intrusion on my day because I’m saving travel time and I can stay home in the evenings.”

With the NBN connection, Professor Atkinson can now not only videoconference with his student and colleague but look at documents or complex visualisations they are collaborating on while the rest of the family is using the internet to watch videos, study or master something new.