NBN brings new dawn
The potential of the National Broadband Network is only limited by the imagination and it is possible that many of its uses haven't even been thought of yet.
"Think of FaceBook and Twitter, they didn't exist ten years ago," Alun Davies, the head of the Armidale NBN working group said.
Armidale was one of the first towns to get the NBN and so far 4000 homes are connected to the fibre-optic network that delivers ultra fast internet connections.
The first phase of the large-scale rollout of the NBN will include Grafton, Junction Hill, South Grafton and Waterview Heights. Work in central Grafton is set to begin by September next year and will ultimately reach 9200 homes and businesses.
The arrival of the NBN means computers users will have to start thinking "two-way, visually and globally," Mr Davies said.
The speed and the volume of information that can travel through the NBN will change the way people learn, work and receive medical treatment he said.
School classes will no longer by limited by place. Children will be able to study subjects in virtual classrooms where they can see and here the other students and teacher, while being in different locations he said.
For the aged it can mean staying in their homes for longer as health services are delivered via the internet. Doctors can monitor people and help them with taking medicine, and it will also be possible to have a consultation with a specialist from home he said.
"Technology can monitor movement to notify relatives if someone has a fall," he said.
NBN internet will deliver speeds of up to 100 megabytes per second compared to ADSL 2+ internet that can achieve top speeds of up to 21 megabytes per second. It is not uncommon for rural residents to get 512 kilobytes per second.
With the NBN 6Gb of data, say two movies, can be downloaded in a matter of minutes instead of hours.
NBN internet plans with medium download allowances cost around $80 per month.