Its On: NBN Hits NSW – 1Gbps Speeds ‘Expected’
Resident of rural Kiama, NSW can now trial a world class high-speed broadband network, with speeds of “up to” 100Mbps and “potential speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second expected” late next year.
And the take up is massive, if Conroy’s figure are accurate.
“Almost 80 per cent” of local residents have signed up for a free connection, he confirmed.
In the past, take up has been less than convincing – Tasmania, the first has been switched on to the fibre optic services last year had a reported take up of just 15 per cent, when first rolled out.
When the NBN service was rolled out in Armidale, NSW, the first mainland site, take up was said to be 87 per cent, although this was later revealed to be just over 600 customers.
The Minister for Broadband, Senator Stephen Conroy supported by Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan who were at the Kiama launch today, said it represented another historic step in the broadband roll out.
“Kiama is the second site on mainland Australia to launch the NBN and will enable trial users to receive a connection to our world class high-speed broadband network,” Conroy said.
However, he also said the controversial $36bn NBN project is “at times a very thankless job” referring to the efforts of NBN Co Chief Mike Quigley, the company charged with rolling out the network.
However, its not just households that will benefit – the fibre optic network will enable improvements in the delivery of healthcare services and access to more business opportunities, Conroy insists.
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The use of Neuroscience Research Australia’s Fall Prevention Program via the NBN was demonstrated at the launch. Users can also reap the benefits of other “in-home exercise and rehabilitation programs,” Conroy said.
And tyranny of distance is no more, said Wayne Swan, who believes the broadband network would be a boom for Aussie businesses, irrespective of location.
“The NBN will allow businesses, whether they are small, medium and large in rural and regional Australia, to overcome the tyranny of distance by gaining access to national and international markets,” Mr Swan said.
“Small businesses are already relocating to Kiama to take advantage of the NBN,” he added.
Kiama Downs/Minnamurra is the second of five mainland NBN test release sites to be unleashed. Armidale, NSW was connected to the NBN in May this year with customer trials now well underway.
The other sites of Brunswick (VIC), Willunga (SA) and Townsville (QLD) will begin offering services “progressively over the coming months.”