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Council to help SMEs make the most of NBN

21 May 2015

Whyalla City Council has resolved to develop a Digital Readiness Strategy in conjunction with local business that will see residents take full advantage of the National Broadband Network.

Council to help SMEs make the most of NBN

Whyalla City Council has resolved to develop a Digital Readiness Strategy in conjunction with local business that will see residents take full advantage of the National Broadband Network.

The National Broadband Network (NBN) is to be rolled out in Whyalla between now

and the end of 2016. Council believes that the NBN presents significant opportunities for improved economic outcomes in Whyalla, especially in the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector. Council is developing the strategy in support of those businesses that may lack the required technical and practical knowledge to realise the opportunities presented by the NBN.

Whyalla City Council’s acting Group Manager, Engineering & Infrastructure Ray Davy said that the strategy will incorporate an education programme for local businesses as well as the introduction of a digital hub and Wi-Fi connectivity in the CBD.

"We want residents and businesses in Whyalla to understand and take advantage of the economic opportunities inherent in the rollout of the NBN in Whyalla," commented Mr Davy.

"This work needs to be completed before the NBN arrives in Whyalla so that business can make the necessary advance arrangements including education, training, purchasing or upgrading of hardware and software."

Whyalla City Council Mayor Jim Pollock said that the strategy was important for Whyalla’s future:

"We want to make sure that, in a competitive and increasingly globalised world, Whyalla businesses do not lag behind their competitors elsewhere in the region," commented Mayor Pollock.

Mr Davy and his team have reviewed case studies of other communities, for example Victoria Park in Perth, which was one of the first communities to receive the NBN.

"Victoria Park established Wi-Fi connectivity throughout its commercial centre and also established a ‘digital hub’ to enable residents to access Council-owned internet facilities," added Mr Davy.

"Like Victoria Park, our strategy will see Council staff offering face-to-face counsel to local SME’s on the opportunities associated with the digital economy."

At Monday night’s Council meeting, Council resolved to contribute $100,000 towards the Digital Readiness Strategy with the view of securing a matching amount in State or Commonwealth funding.


 

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