Warragul’s first foray into new-age communications technology occurred with the “click of a mouse” last Wednesday when Baw Baw shire mayor Murray Cook made a live video cross to Member for McMillan Russell Broadbent at parliament house in Canberra.

The link-up activated the high-speed broadband network installed at the Waterford Rise residential development.

Residents of the estate will have access to internet speeds of 100 megabits per second and installer RedTrain Network said the network was designed to cater for up to one gigabit connections to each household.

Congratulating the estate developers Mr Broadbent said the technology was a great advantage in attracting people to live and work in the area. He said the two-way video connection that launched estate’s network was an example of the interaction people would frequently have in the future. Cr Cook described it as an “eyeopener” that would give residents the capability to work from home and possibly telecommute to their work places in Melbourne.

Waterford Rise broadband network by-passes the national telecommunications network via a switching centre (exchange) built by RedTrain on the western side of the estate that is connected to the nearby VicTrack fibre optic cable. That provides a direct connection to RedTrain’s facility in Melbourne.

RedTrain spokesman Michael Sparksman said it was the first wholesale only open access network in the region and put Waterford Rise 10 years ahead of likely availability of the national broadband network in the Warragul area.

He said four retail broadband service providers had already been attracted to offer internet services on the network. General manager of the estate’s developers, Baw Baw Developments, Glenn Sanford said the state of the art broadband connection provided residents with the benefit of faster web browsing and the ability to download large files and attach large images and videos to emails without having to use cloud-computing services.

Almost 200 residential blocks have been sold at Waterford Rise since it opened two years ago. The staged development will eventually provided about 1200 blocks and is expected to house up to 5000 people.

<em>source WARRAGUL AND DROUIN GAZETTE December 17 2013 Page 21</em>