Victoria’s first Broadband Application Laboratory has been officially opened at Melbourne University.
From today, businesses wanting to explore new online opportunities will be able to use the laboratory to test and develop their ideas in a trial environment.
The laboratory was opened by the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, and the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy.
Gillard said Australian businesses should use the new laboratory to help them translate their broadband ideas into new products and services.
The new broadband laboratory is part of Melbourne University’s Institute for a Broadband-Enabled Society (IBES).
IBES is dedicated to promoting innovative strategies that maximise the benefits of new broadband technologies across the areas of education, health, business, services, network deployment, economics, smart communities and infrastructure.
Conroy and Gillard used the event to further push the merits of the National Broadband Network (NBN)
In statement, they noted that a recent global study by McKinsey found that small and medium-sized businesses with a strong Web presence grew more than twice as fast as those with minimal or no Web presence.
The research also showed those businesses with a strong Web presence had twice the share of revenue from exports and created more than double the number of jobs.
The Government's case for the NBN was further strengthened by a new study released yesterday by Ericsson and Arthur D Little which found that GDP can increase by 0.3 per cent every time broadband speeds are doubled.
This was because faster broadband supports more automated and simplified processes and higher productivity, according to the research.
It also provides a platform for real-time information allowing quicker, more informed decision making, problem solving and monitoring.
For more information on IBES visit www.broadband.unimelb.edu.au and for the NBN visit www.nbn.gov.au