FEDERAL Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce said the celebration in Armidale today as the city is the first region in mainland Australia to be switched to the nbn™ network, was a significant landmark for the city and the New England Electorate.
Mr Joyce said work in the city began in 2010 with migration to the nbn™ occurring progressively since May 2014 with the final legacy disconnection occurring at the end of January 2016.
He said the final disconnection means around 12,000 residents and businesses in the town now have access to fast and reliable broadband through the nbn™. Another 2,000 premises in the outlying areas also have access to the nbn™ through the world leading fixed wireless technology.
“But it’s not only Armidale where the nbn technology is being rolled out. There are fixed wireless towers sprouting up all across the Electorate, work on the installation of Fibre is planned to begin in the first quarter of 2017 and the first of two purpose-built NBN satellites, Sky Muster, being launched last year on 1 October passing muster,” Mr Joyce said.
“There are more than 32 Fixed Wireless towers already operating in the Electorate, offering wholesale download speeds of up to 25 megabits per second and wholesale upload speeds of up to five megabits per second to telephone and Internet service providers,” he said.
nbn™ spokewoman Kelly Stevens said Armidale was the first area in Australia to connect and now they’re making history again by being the first to complete the transition.
“This is a very exciting and proud moment for nbn as it really shows that we’re well on our way to connecting 8 million homes and business by 2020,” Ms Stevens said.
“Armidale is a shining light in terms of utilising the nbn™ network for the benefit of the region and certainly a success story that we share with other regions.
“It has developed itself as a centre of excellence in education and promoting digital business through the availability of high speed broadband. Its long term strategy for growth also centres on supporting business development and digital enterprise.
“The hard work has been recognised, being named by the Global Intelligent Community Forum as one of the worlds’ 21 Smart Communities of 2016.”
Armidale is now in the running for the prestigious Intelligent Community of the Year that will be announced in June 2016.
Nearly 1.65 million homes and businesses throughout Australia are able to connect with 756,000 already enjoying the benefits of fast and reliable broadband through the nbn™ network.