There will be a broadband boom for the bush if local councils play a driving role, according to UK community regeneration expert, Dr Tim Williams.
Dr Williams appeared before the Regional Telecommunications Independent Review Committee where he presented evidence that rural and regional councils need to take the lead on new technologies like HD Telepresence to bring the full advantages of next-generation connectivity to the bush.
He said that local councils must now plan on playing a driving role in realising the full potential of broadband in the bush with healthcare, education and local businesses all to benefit from the next-generation connectivity.
“Technologies like HD Telepresence will enable people in regional Australia to access new healthcare services and education opportunities, while local businesses will be able to work as if they were based in a major capital,” Dr Williams said, speaking to the committee on behalf of broadband technology company, Huawei Australia.
Huawei director of corporate and public affairs, Jeremy Mitchell, said councils that act now – before high-speed broadband has been connected in their area – will be best positioned to benefit from the technology.
“Throughout rural and regional Australia, we’ve seen that local councils have an enormous opportunity to engage with businesses, schools, healthcare providers and individuals to show them how broadband can bring a new economic boom to the bush,” Mitchell said.
Huawei and Dr Williams have been meeting local councils across Australia to promote local leadership on broadband adoption.
Dr Williams discovered the importance of local councils using broadband to promote regional regeneration when preparing his White Paper Connecting Communities: The impact of broadband on communities in the UK and its implications for Australia.