The endorsed Labor Party candidate for Leichardt, Billy Gordon, came to QRAM for a visit and of course the conversation quickly turned to politics. Billy is well known up here in North Queensland being born in Innisfail.
He joined the Labor party because he wanted to change things for the better for people in North Queensland. Billy has a passion for Labour Party values. He wants the School Improvement Plan and the National Disability Insurance Scheme to proceed and for Far North Queensland businesses to get the benefit of high speed internet through the NBN rollout.
It was the NBN that bought him to QRAM, to have a first hand look at the way we use the existing available high speed fibre networks to develop, a unique wide area network (WAN) of radio stations in remote Queensland.
QRAM uses existing Optic Fibre Networks, ADSL, BDSL, and Wireless technology to deliver its multi point service. The current service is unique to Indigenous radio broadcasting, because it provides the high speeds and reliability required for prompt delivery of content data.
An interview of 5 minutes can be sent across the network of 14 computers and be delivered in 1- 2 minutes, that’s fast now. Consider how fast that will be with NBN, it will reduce time to seconds and save money and time for businesses.
The discussions with Billy Gordon included an announcement that Cairns small businesses and not-for-profit organisations can now apply for grants of up to $280,000 to discover the possibilities of the National Broadband Network. He welcomed an announcement by the Gillard Government that an extra $12.9 million had been allocated in the Federal Budget for new digital initiatives.
Mr. Gordon told QRAM that the grants will be used to train local people and organisations to realise the full potential of this new high speed broadband.
He said organisations such as the Cairns Regional Council would be eligible to apply for a grant as would small businesses and not-for-profit groups in the Cairns area where the rollout is underway or due to commence by June 2014. “The NBN and these new training grants are going to boost our local economy, create jobs, increase efficiencies and transform the way we deliver services in education, health and aged care” he said.
QRAM with their community Black Star network fit under the category as an essential service closing the gap campaigns in education, health aged care and housing. QRAM is now seeing the benefits of fast broadband now available in productivity increases, digital content production, and the” two way highway” that broadband brings to broadcasting.
For Billy Gordon it is a long road, his electorate is huge, one of the largest in Australia. It stretches from Cairns to Cape York, including the Torres Strait Islands, his task to win is a big one. requiring a substantial swing can he do it? “Yes he can”