Peter-Croll10240309_web3Businesses from Taree to the Queensland border are being invited to register their interest in a project aimed at positioning the region as a priority area for the rollout of the National Broadband Network.

Southern Cross University is leading a collaborative initiative to convince the Federal Government that the first roll-out of high-speed broadband on the mainland should take place in the Mid North and North Coast regions.

Professor of Information Technology and Information Systems Peter Croll (pictured), who is leading the project, said a website had been established to provide updates to businesses across the region, and to gather information about business activities that could benefit from the National Broadband Network.

“We will be putting in a submission to the Federal Government before the end of the year making the case for why this region should be the first on the mainland to get high-speed broadband,” Professor Croll said.

“We have a number of case studies to show how this technology can be utilised in areas including e-health, arts and media, regional business and e-learning.”

Professor Croll said the university was working with local councils, Federal Member for Page Janelle Saffin, Regional Development Australia Mid North Coast, the Northern Organisation Region of Councils (NOROC) and a number of local businesses.

“We want to hear from businesses how high-speed broadband would benefit them. We need to demonstrate why it should be here early and what this region has to offer,” he said.

Businesses wanting more information or to provide input to the submission should visit the website www.gobroadband.org.au

Professor Croll, who is working with the university’s Regional Futures Institute, has also been invited by the Federal Minister for Broadband, Communications and The Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, to attend a Broadband Future Forum in Canberra this week.

The form brings together experts from industry, community and government sectors to help map out the applications, services and business models that will thrive in the high speed broadband environment.