The Hamilton Spectator – October 20, 2015
THE National Broadband Network will be coming to thousands of local homes from early 2017 as part of the infrastructure project’s new three-year plan.
The plan, which was released on Friday, states that construction of wired NBN internet services for 4900 Hamilton premises will begin in the first quarter of 2017, along with 700 premises in Coleraine.
Casterton will see 900 premises begin to be connected from the second half of 2017. All three towns will get the NBN through the ‘Fibre-to-the-Node’ (FTTN) type of connection, which involves running optic fibre cable to each street and then using the existing copper phone lines to deliver
services to each household.
NBNCo’s Victoria spokesperson told The Spectator that the company expected local FTTN projects would be completed in “under a year, in most circumstances” once construction had begun.
FTTN was introduced by the incoming Coalition Government in 2013 as a
replacement for Labor’s original plan to run optic fibre directly to each household.
Then-Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the alternative technology would be cheaper and faster to roll out across the nation, but has faced claims that the decades-old copper network may
struggle to cope.
According to the report, construction has also begun on Penshurst’s fixed wireless NBN service, which will broadcast 4G-style internet to rooftop antennas.
Fixed wireless should be rolled out to 270 premises around Penshurst within the next 12 months, and is already available at nine locations within about 40 minute’s drive of Hamilton.
More remote users should also benefit from the launch of the new NBN satellite service, which will replace the notoriously slow interim satellite service that is almost unusable for many agricultural subscribers.
Wannon MP Dan Tehan said the new roll-out plan was “is a huge step forward” and “demonstrates the Coalition’s commitment to rural and regional Australia in closing the digital divide”.
“The Coalition Government understands that internet access is important for our community and will transform education, health care and other critical online services,” he said.
“The Coalition Government recognises that consumers want fast broadband as soon as possible. All services over the NBN will give Wannon businesses, agricultural producers and consumers a brighter future with the potential to be more efficient and productive.
“Families will also benefit from the vastly higher bandwidth available, delivering greater access and choices for educational resources for homework, study and entertainment.”
FTTN promises speeds up to four times faster than what is currently offered by the fastest ADSL2+ connections in Hamilton’s CBD.