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Southern Cross University plans broadband e-Demo Centre


Brigid Veale
6 August 2010
Southern Cross University is developing plans for an e-Demo Centre at its Coffs Harbour campus to provide information and advice on the potential of the National Broadband Network.

Plans for the centre were discussed during a visit to the Coffs Harbour campus by Senator Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, and the Labor candidate for Cowper, Paul Sekfy today (August 6).

Senator Conroy and Mr Sekfy met with Southern Cross University’s Professor of Information Technology and Information Systems, Professor Peter Croll, who led the submission for the early rollout of the National Broadband Network for the Australian eastern regional corridor.

In July it was announced that the submission, supported by federal Member for Page Janelle Saffin and a number of local councils, had been successful in securing Coffs Harbour as one of the two NSW sites for the next round of the National Broadband Network rollout.

“We have welcomed the NBN rollout and have a number of initiatives in place to highlight the potential of this network in health, arts and media, regional business and e-learning,” Professor Croll said.

In response to community and industry requests, Professor Croll will be holding information seminars in September to provide people with a greater understanding of how broadband technology can be used.

“Southern Cross University is also planning an e-Demo Centre, to provide local, rural and regional communities and industry with best-practice advice, access to information and communication technology (ICT) research and high-tech demonstrations,” he said.

“The facility will be staffed by trained personnel who can provide an unbiased opinion on the implications and benefits of the proposed technical applications and continuous connectivity.

“This will be combined with demonstrations of the relevant technology for e-health and e-education. We are also looking at the benefits of this technology in emergency situations. The e-Demo Centre will deliver content that will benefit the whole community and stimulate community use and the development of ICT options.”

Professor Croll is also leading a Health-eRegions initiative, through the University’s Regional Futures Institute. This initiative focuses on providing world-leading ICT research facilities for improving the quality of life and health for individuals in regional communities in Australia.

“Utilising technology such as the NBN can provide novel solutions to regional issues in health, education and emergency responsiveness. We are already looking at remote medical monitoring (telehealth for the aged), usability of digital technologies in home and small business environments, environmental monitoring and the use of advanced educational facilities.”

Professor Croll’s information seminars are being held at the Coffs Ex-services Club on September 7. Sessions for the community will be held from 2pm to 4pm and for business and industry from 5.15pm to 7.15pm.

Photo: Senator Stephen Conroy, left, and Professor Peter Croll at the Coffs Harbour campus.