ARMIDALE’S Digital Hub program has now helped more than 2200 local residents, young and old, improve their digital and internet surfing skills since opening in April.
Trainers have helped residents engage online through free group courses and one-on-one training sessions.
To date, 188 group training sessions have been conducted with 1659 participants taking part and a further 542 people involved in the one-on-one sessions.
The program’s manager, Leah Morrison, said she could not recall a quiet morning or afternoon at the hub since it opened.
“For me, the most important thing is to listen and respond to the needs of the community,” she said.
The hub was launched to help people get acquainted with the National Broadband Network (NBN) after Armidale was the first launched mainland site in NSW.
Armidale Dumaresq Council’s economic development, tourism and marketing department was successful in securing more than $1 million in funding from the Commonwealth for the program’s delivery.
The department’s manager, Kevin Abey, said it had been a tremendous success.
“I’m astounded by the number of people that have participated in the training so far,” he said.
Mr Abey said they now had people using a vast number of digital applications because of the very fast broadband service.
“It is exciting to see people now digitally engaged who have not previously used the internet,” he said.
“I am aware that we have had a number of senior citizens who have purchased computer equipment and are now communicating with their loved ones through Skype and various other social media.”
The hub will run until January 2014, when the whole of Armidale is expected to be connected to the NBN.