NBN Unleashing the full potential of Melbourne businesses

Monday, August 26th, 2013 @ 4:39PM

The Rudd Labor Government will provide the Victorian Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI) more than $540,000 to give Melbourne’s small-to-medium businesses free digital training to prepare for the National Broadband Network (NBN).

Minister Assisting for the Digital Economy, Innovation and Industry Kate Lundy announced the new funding in Melbourne today at Rail Plus – an online rail ticketing business that relies on high-speed internet to provide services to its customers.

Minister Lundy said the funding, delivered under the Digital Enterprise Program, would ensure businesses in Melbourne had the skills needed to get online and take full advantage of the NBN.

“We know that small businesses who are online and using broadband grow their business faster and are more likely to be hiring new staff than those that aren’t.

“The NBN is already available to more than 21,000 homes and businesses across Victoria and construction is set to commence or be complete to nearly one million homes and businesses by June 2016.

“The Rudd Labor Government wants to make sure that businesses are getting the most out of the NBN, and VECCI is the perfect fit to promote the benefits of high-speed broadband.

“Federal Labor’s Digital Enterprise program is just one part of a strategy to help small businesses in Melbourne and across the country harness online business opportunities.”

Chief Executive Officer of VECCI Mark Stone welcomed Federal Labor’s funding.

“The NBN supports businesses to reap the benefits of an online presence and the added exposure this provides. It offers businesses ways to enhance productivity and offers greater flexibility in the way they work,” Mr Stone said.

“VECCI will deliver group seminars and one-on-one support sessions which will include training on e-commerce, the benefits of digital marketing and online privacy and data security for business.”

A re-elected Rudd Labor Government will also create a $10 million Small Business NBN Innovation Fund to help small businesses across the country unleash the full potential of the NBN.

The new Innovation Fund will back businesses, researchers and entrepreneurs in developing innovative NBN-enabled applications which deliver practical benefits for small businesses across the nation.

Once developed, the new applications would be made available free of charge to all small businesses through www.business.gov.au.

“Federal Labor sees the NBN’s fast, affordable, and reliable broadband as an essential utility, like water and electricity,” Minister Lundy said.

“The NBN is the great enabler for small business that will open up new ways of doing business, and our new Innovation Fund will ensure small business owners can tap into these benefits.

“The NBN is a game changer for small business across Australia. It is the biggest ever investment in small business infrastructure this nation has ever seen.”

VECCI will receive $542,900 to deliver services in Melbourne’s Inner South, Inner East, South East and the Mornington Peninsula.

Darebin Enterprise Centre Limited is also receiving a grant worth up to $413,000 to deliver services in Melbourne’s North West and Outer East areas.

For a list of service providers announced under previous funding rounds or more information, please visit: www.dbcde.gov.au/digitalenterprise.

Funding for this program is already included in the budget.

MELBOURNE
26 AUGUST 2013

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