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Prime Minister launches Australian Broadband Applications Laboratory

A new laboratory to help businesses test the latest high-speed broadband applications has been launched today by Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy.

The new Australian Broadband Applications Laboratory (ABAL) has been established by the Institute for a Broadband-Enabled Society (IBES) in the Electrical and Electronic Engineering Building at the University of Melbourne, following a $3M funding boost from the State Government of Victoria.

The laboratory has previously been in operation as a state-of-the-art broadband network test-bed laboratory for researchers. Now the high-tech facilities will be made available to businesses and not-for-profit organisations, from small-to-medium sized enterprises to multinationals, in order for them to test innovative broadband applications in a real-world environment.

Prime Minister Gillard said the National Broadband Network would make Australia the most connected continent on the planet. She said the NBN would provide the basis for new methods, processes and products.

“There are many businesses who are ready to take the next step and see their ideas become reality,” she said.

“This is why I am delighted to be here today for the launch of the Australian Broadband Application Laboratory.”

“ABAL will enable the application and development of new broadband ideas and service offerings. It will provide the right environment to help companies turn their ideas into new products and services,” The Prime Minister said.

Senator Conroy said ABAL was an exciting initiative.

“IBES’ test-bed laboratory is the way of the future for Australian industry. It will be a valuable resource for businesses,” he said.

“They will be able to trial and network new ideas, new ways of doing new things and old things, as well as creating and improving services utilising broadband technology.”

Director of IBES, Professor Rod Tucker, said that the National Broadband Network would dramatically transform Australia’s telecommunications and media landscape. He said that the new laboratory was effectively a “mini-NBN”, a high-speed end-to-end network that gave businesses the opportunity to test their applications in a real-world environment.

Professor Tucker said ABAL would provide laboratory space, facilities and equipment.

He said ABAL could also offer advice to businesses on matching applications to appropriate technology, as well as software development support resources.

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