The National Broadband Network is going to change the delivery of key social services in Geraldton and the Mid West, according to NBNCo broadband application advisory Sean Casey.
Mr Casey was in Geraldton last week for the Mid West Economic and Resources Summit, where he explained some of the benefits the region would receive as a first release site for the NBN network.
“Geraldton is the first site in WA for us, we’re also rolling out all three technologies — we’re constructing fibre, setting up our fixed wireless towers and we also have satellite for the surrounding areas,” he said.
“Geraldton is a point of interconnect for NBNCo that will be servicing the area north all the way up the coast.
“For NBNCo this is the gateway to the north in terms of our architecture and infrastructure.”
Mr Casey spends most of his time working in the areas of health, education and regional business development, making assessments of NBN’s impact on regional and remote communities.
He said that NBN would deliver great change to areas of health and education in the Mid West.
“We’re seeing pilot projects in some of our first release sites, and we’re doing things like diabetes management.
“[With NBN] you can do home monitoring and have tele-consultations with doctors to help you manage diabetes,” he said.
“Another one we are doing is in the area of chronic disease.
“It’s a really big expense on the health system, so if we can help people manage their chronic disease at home over broadband, with better access to doctors, we can actually start to reduce the long-term costs of care.”
Mr Casey highlighted the benefits the NBN would have on remote education.
“You think about access to content, or access to teachers — you might not have that special language or it may be it’s a advanced mathematics class that suits a gifted student or student with special needs who might need access to those additional services.
“In the rural or remote areas a lot of times you have trouble matching the need with the service. Over broadband now I can start to do that over a video conference and get those additional courses that couldn’t be provided locally.”