Super-fast broadband speeds open up possibilities across a multitude of industries. Two of the major benefactors are those which are health and education related. Behind the foreseen innovations are a range of entities contributing funds, research and materials to the cause of creating more efficient and practical solutions for a future Australia.

One example is the University of New England’s (UNE) fibre enabled projects. UNE’s Faculty of Professionals have embraced NBN policy to illustrate how emerging communication technologies enable people to create projects that step ‘outside the box’ and produce enviornments of learning and research that are relevant, enriching, and value-add to people’s lives and the nation’s wealth.

Below we’ve listed some of the fibre enabled projects being worked on by UNE and their partners:

Smarter Safer Homes for older Australians

This project aims to demonstrate that with assistive technology and remote monitoring of daily living activities of older Australians, they may remain living independently for longer whilst maintaining a higher quality of life. Through sensor technology, appropriate people can be contacted in the case of an emergency or accident, for example, a fall. The technologies are being used in a Smart House in Armidale, as well as in the homes of selected participants.


This projects trials a new Interactive Multi-Media Learning Space (IMLS) that was conceived as a community education portal to promote lifelong learning and to provide new pathways to knowledge, learning, training and education. The trial hopes to leverage capabilities of the NBN through integrative technology at TAFE New England, open learning spaces and computing upgrades for Community Technology Centres.

Medical Simulation

UNE have formed a partnership with University of California, Irvine School of Medicine which has enabled them to share and develop international capacity building and collaboration in a digital interactive curriculum. Learning materials are made available online through wireless and mobile devices and are transforming the traditional text-book approach.

The Universities have also been able to work together to train their students in bedside ultrasound. The collaboration has included students from both schools undertaking ultrasound in real-time video-conferencing. Students in Armidale were able to have their ultrasound technique and images supervised by an international expert in ultrasound applications as they undertook the task.

There are a number more fibre enabled technology projects being conducted at UNE, and they can be found here.