Connecting with the heart of Queensland
Often, locals would turn up to events with questions not just for themselves but also for neighbours and friends who couldn’t make it.
People knew each other and would chat happily.
Just like the bush telegraph, access to fast internet helps keep people informed and communities to share essential information.
That’s where the nbn™ broadband access network comes in.
Whether you are talking about business, education or health, the ability to interact with another person is paramount – especially out here – and the nbn™ access network and mobile services help to enable these links.
By combining the point-to-point nature of our satellite service with a Wi-Fi network, they can access good coverage across their property. This is helping them to stay in touch with others on the farm, as well as with family and friends, an important consideration in these drought-affected times.
While the ongoing drought in western Queensland continues to put pressure on the pastoral industry, many of the people we spoke with said the issues they face are worth the lifestyle of being on the land.
There are day-to-day challenges, of course, but the joy they get from the small things – like the beautiful landscape, lack of traffic, and the sense of community that comes from knowing the neighbours – makes it all worthwhile.
For many, working outside the property is also part of their business model.
These days, you can be an accountant based in Boyne Island with clients across the country, an international web designer out of Gladstone, or a boutique jam maker using all-natural ingredients homegrown on the farm in Cloyna.
You might be a photographer snapping away in Jundah, or a virtual personal assistant working in Stonehenge, which is home to just 44 people.
A project by the Regional Area Planning and Development Board, Outbackhubs are both physical and virtual coworking sites set up in locations across the region for community access. It allows easy access to virtual workshops, training, meetings and more, either in person or via video conferencing software.
Outbackhubs also means training and workshops occurring in these communities can be broadcast as interactive sessions to even more remote community members, potentially bringing cost and time savings, and eliminating the risks associated with travelling in the vast outback.
The physical locations have coworking and hot desk options for travelling business people, or can simply be a place to put your feet under a desk when you come into town from the farm.
Our commitment continues
With NBN Co placing an even greater focus on regional support in the next few years, I’m lucky enough to continue to travel this incredible land.
We recently launched a new regional Australia business unit, wholly focused on meeting the needs of our customers and raising the digital capability of regional and remote communities.
And these are just two of our recent initiatives that support regional and remote Australia. I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing about how those I meet while out on the road are using connectivity to further enhance their lives.
While those of us who work in regional Australia have experienced the advantages being brought about by the nbn™ access network rollout, it’s only this year’s harvest. As any good farmer knows, the true benefit will be seen with successful subsequent, resilient crops.
And I, for one, am excited to see what we will do together.