Residents of Middleton Grange - an OptiComm Fibre Connected Community in South-West Sydney - are being given a glimpse into the future under a high-speed Broadband Network solution launched today.

NSW Minister for Commerce Paul Lynch said up to 40 households at Parkbridge Estate will gain access to four unique applications during the trial which requires the open access functions of the high speed of a fibre optic solution which Opticomm delivers.

The applications include:
  • A smart metering system that will allow families and businesses to track their energy consumption in real time and adjust energy use accordingly;
  • A touch screen communications system to help people unable to access more common ways to communicate;
  • A virtual world learning environment for school students using web cameras, computers and live video interaction;
  • High-definition IPTV to allow people to access and watch any of the Free to Air stations, and High Definition ABC iView content
Mr Lynch said the trial showed the NSW Government and Opticomm were ahead of the game in preparing for the arrival of the National Broadband Network.

“We have begun trialling new applications that will take advantage of unprecedented broadband speeds in the areas of health and disability care, education, energy consumption and home entertainment,” he said.

Opticomm's “Parkbridge Estate is an ideal site for this trial because it comes with [open access] fibre-to-the-home capacity, which will be a feature of the National Broadband Network,” Mr Lynch said.

The trial would run until the end of the year and would help inform a more comprehensive series of trials across the State in the future.

He said the trials would help industry develop new markets and drive innovation and
business growth. Mr Lynch also launched a new website which highlights the work of the NSW National Broadband Network Taskforce.

Background on applications

ENERGY CONSUMPTION PORTAL - This project provides households with a tool to help budget energy use and better manage energy costs in the future. Integral Energy will replace normal electricity meters with smart meters that regularly collects data and transmits it over a secure an dedicated link across the Opticomm network. This allows residents to work out which appliances consume the most electricity in their home and what times of day energy use peaks. Residents will be able to monitor use through an Internet page and decide which appliances could be turned on or off to better manage their energy costs.This project will be rolled out progressively at Parkbridge Estate.

KEEP IN TOUCH - The ‘Keep In Touch’ project features a simple touch screen communications system to help people who have difficulty using traditional communication methods to communicate with loved ones and care providers. It will allow residents to easily keep in touch with someone in aged care, community care, or a young child that can't use email or telephones. This project is managed by the Smart Services Cooperative Research Centre, a government-funded research organisation, in collaboration with Consult Point, a business technology firm.

CONNECTED CLASSES & INTERACTIVE STORYTIME FROM HOME - This project gives a glimpse into the future of education. Year 3 and 5 students from Middleton Grange and Kellyville Public Schools will have a chance to communicate and collaborate in a structured learning activity using a virtual classroom. This involves using web cameras and computers to “immerse” themselves in a virtual world learning environment. Students will be represented by their live video image and they will be able to see and hear each other and interact with video screens and virtual interactive whiteboards. Using the same technology, pre-schoolers from Parkbridge Estate will have the chance to participate from home in Storytime sessions which are normally held in the Middleton Grange Public School library. The Department of Education and Training has partnered with the Smart Services Cooperative Research Centre to demonstrate the value of new learning methods.

HIGH DEFINITION IPTV (HDTV) - Using TV remote control residents will be able to access programs using IPTV delivered to their televisions at a time that suits them. The content will be in a higher definition and better quality than the ‘catch-up’ shows currently available online. The initial content supplied in the trial will be from ABC iView. This will later expand to include government information on demand. This project is managed by National ICT Australia Ltd (NICTA), one of the largest government funded ICT research groups in Australia, in collaboration with OptiComm.


Post a Comment