NBN Co expects to soon begin hauling fibre to the first Ballarat streets, with contractors reaching the final stages of detailed design in parts of the city.
NBN Co general manager of external affairs Trent Williams said contractors had been walking the streets, examining infrastructure as part of the detailed design process.
“There will be trucks around, which people will be seeing,” he said.
“We literally go around to every street where we’re building and we’ll examine what infrastructure is already there.
“With our Telstra agreement, we have access to their ducts. Once we’re ready to go we start hauling fibre through those ducts.”
Detailed design works are under way, at different stages of completion, in parts of the Ballarat central business district, Invermay Park, Ballarat North, Newington, Soldiers Hill, Black Hill, Eureka, Ballarat East and Nerrina.
Meanwhile, NBN Co yesterday unveiled a plan to boost the broadband speeds of its fixed wireless and satellite services.
It would see a doubling of wholesale download speeds from 12 megabits per second to 25Mbps.
Uploads would increase from 1Mbps to 5Mbps.
Mr Williams said the upgrades would be available by mid-2013 on the fixed wireless network, and from the start of operation of the long-term satellite service in 2015.
Mr Williams said the national broadband network put Ballarat on a par with every major Australian city.
“It’s a real game changer for the Ballarat area,” he said.
Federal Member for Ballarat Catherine King said many areas around Ballarat were already being provided with an NBN fast broadband service through fixed wireless and others would eventually be serviced by satellite.
“This upgrade means those people will all get even faster broadband, giving them better online access for a range of important services and keeping them in touch with the region, the nation and the world,” she said.
“This upgrade represents a doubling of speeds for the NBN’s fixed wireless and satellite services.”
The roll out of fixed-wireless and long-term satellite services aims to cover around 7 per cent of the nation’s premises.
NBN Co said both were on track to be substantially completed by the end of 2015. The roll out of the optical fibre network is scheduled to be completed by 2021.