My top 3 challenges for the Central West in 2017
Anyone that has ever worked with our business knows we love to boast about our great region. We’re proud to live and work in the Central West NSW and our success today is in no small part due to the many people and businesses we interact with on a daily basis.
I think the year ahead for the central west is looking good. Sydney’s expansion westward is bringing new economic opportunities and our tourism industry is well established. It’s a great time to be living in the area however, as with any region across our country, there are some challenges ahead, especially for the business community.
After speaking to many of our clients and locals in general, here are a few of the challenges for business and the wider community I’m hearing about.
The NBN rollout
For business and our community, the NBN is a welcome major infrastructure improvement for our region. At Inland Digital we’ve switched over and as a technology provider, the speed of access to information is going to have a fairly significant impact on our business.
There’s still confusion out there as to the expectations of what the NBN can deliver. The reality is that your location and the existing infrastructure can have a big impact on your data speed. For example, when we signed up we were guaranteed speeds of between 25 and 100mbps. Unfortunately, we’re seeing an average speed of 34mbps, anchoring us close to the bottom of the speed band. It may not be the overall panacea to Internet speed that many thought it would be.
There are other unforeseen impacts too. If you have a back-to-base alarm system or a connected service for medical emergencies, you’ll need to rent a separate line that could cost around $30 per month. We also found out in a recent meeting with our Telco provider that the ISDN telephone network will expire in the next 12 months and we’ll need to upgrade. That knock on affect was something we hadn’t thought of; luckily we’ve jumped on it early
So make sure you dig a little deeper to understand the changes that the NBN will bring.
It’s a big topic and not just in our community. Read any of the major media outlets and you’ll hear the noise about council amalgamations. We certainly have an interest: We work with a number of local councils across a variety of technology projects.
It’s an issue that people can really vary on. If you speak to locals in the Cabonne area there’s a big case for having a smaller local council more in tune to their needs. The question is; will it better under a bigger, decentralised council?
For me, the jury is still out. It’s certainly going to be an interesting year ahead for our region in this space.
Supporting our local businesses
We love to see businesses flourish and it has a knock-on effect when they don’t. Local business is always our priority but it’s equally important from an employment and social perspective to have bigger national businesses in our towns. That’s why the closure of the Orange Myer outlet hurts the town so much, especially the employment aspect. It’s important that as a community we rally around and support those that lost the jobs under this change.
We’ve always had a local’s first view to our business: We hire locals and we do our best to provide real career paths. Ultimately it’s in all our interests to see a strong local economy.
If you’ve got something to add we’d love to hear your comments.