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Australia Unveils Broadband Lab for Businesses
Source: futuregov.asia
Source Date: Thursday, October 06, 2011
Focus: Information Access
Country: Australia
Created: Oct 11, 2011

The Australian government has launched a broadband laboratory at the University of Melbourne to help businesses explore online opportunities and test new service offerings over the National Broadband Network (NBN).

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Communications Minister Stephen Conroy (pictured) opened the Australian Broadband Applications Laboratory (ABAL) which also provides businesses a one-stop-shop to assess end-user reactions to new services and applications.

ABAL is available for all Australian businesses to use for a fee for service. Initially employing two employees, it is expected that ABAL’s staff will grow to around 10 employees by 2014.

According to State Victorian Minister for Technology Gordon Rich-Phillips, the launch of ABAL is a great outcome for Victoria as it will encourage broadband innovation by Australian businesses.

By replicating the high-speed NBN set-up, businesses will also be able to test new service offerings over the NBN, he said.

The US$34.8 billion NBN initiative seeks to connect 93 per cent of Australian homes, schools and businesses to a high-speed fibre network, capable of providing broadband speeds of up to one gigabit per second.

Gillard said the roll out of NBN will encourage more people to work from home and make it easier to live and work in rural and regional Australia.

She noted that IT drives 78 per cent of productivity gains in services businesses and 85 per cent in manufacturing.

“The NBN will make Australia the most connected continent on the planet,” Gillard remarked.
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