Connected to the NBN last week, Office & Image has hooked up two computers to the NBN at its Hill Street premises that allow other business owners to get first-hand experience of what is possible with the fibre optic-based broadband service. They can even bring in their own notebooks to the Office & Image store to put the NBN through its paces.
With SA’s first NBN connections from last month in Willunga, NBN Co started its test process with a few customers before its trial is extended to about 100 Willunga premises over the next two months.
Office & Image is a locally owned and operated business that assists individuals, businesses and organisations by providing everything from printing and stationery to computer hardware, software and services. The company’s IT consultant, Paul Johnson of Austech IT Solutions, has set up a dedicated NBN access area in the store, containing a Windows 7 desktop computer and a Windows 7 notebook connected to the NBN.
There’s even a spare workstation so visitors can bring in their own notebook to compare how the NBN performs compared to their existing broadband service.
Office & Image owner Lesley Bakker said the NBN’s arrival in Willunga was an important development for the town. "We’re honoured to be among the first businesses on mainland Australia to be connected to the NBN," she said.
"Although it’s still in a test phase, our NBN connection can provide other businesses and organisations in Willunga with a chance to see what is possible with the NBN. We have set up a couple of computers with test programs, such as Skype videoconferencing, so that local business people can book time to check out how the NBN can assist their own business.
I’m very excited about the opportunities that the NBN offers Office & Image and the town of Willunga."
Internode product manager Jim Kellett said the "window to the future" offered by Office & Image would play an important role to assist local understanding of the NBN. "Internode customers already using the NBN in Tasmania and Armidale love the speed and responsiveness of their NBN services," he said.
"It’s not until you actually see it in action that you understand what a difference it makes."
Internode is already actively involved with the NBN in both Tasmania and Armidale as a Retail Service Provider where it has connected up customers to the network. Internode’s NBN customers in Tasmania range from residential customers to businesses, schools and community organisations.
Willunga is one of five first release sites on mainland Australia selected by NBN Co. The other locations are west Armidale, in NSW (launched in April this year); part of Brunswick in Melbourne; parts of the Townsville suburbs of Aitkenvale and Mundingburra; and the coastal communities of Minnamurra and Kiama Downs, south of Wollongong in NSW.
These first release sites were selected to represent various situations the NBN will encounter during its network rollout. Ranging in geography, housing type and density, local infrastructure and other factors, these sites allow NBNCo to test different design and construction techniques in a range of situations.