THOUSANDS of Ballarat homes and businesses will miss out on the fastest National Broadband Network connection, according to updated rollout maps.
NBN Co released the new plans this week, removing thousands of premises in Canadian, Mount Pleasant and Golden Point that were scheduled to receive high-speed fibre-optic connections.
Fletch Printing and Graphic Design manager Glenn Fletcher said he was concerned his competition might have access to faster internet than his business.
He relies on the internet to download and send large graphic files to his customers.
“Everything’s done by email these days. If it was quicker it would be better,” Mr Fletcher said.
Based in Golden Point, Mr Fletcher’s business was included in maps released in July showing construction had begun on the NBN.
However, now his business has been taken off the map completely.
“It puts somebody that’s in the area in a better position than it does us,” he said.
“To my mind, everyone should be on board or not on board. It’s not for playing games, for us it’s commercial.”
NBN Co is currently conducting a 60-day strategic review of the project, which has prompted the release of the new maps.
Unlike the old maps, which showed where “construction” had started, the new schedule only reveals where the “build” of the network has started.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull accused the previous government of using misleading maps, which were not an accurate representation of when an NBN connection would be available.
As part of the Coalition’s election platform, only areas that have been contracted for work will receive fibre connections to their premises, with the rest to get fibre to the street or wireless technologies.
Ballarat MP Catherine King said the federal government was denying local residents and businesses the benefits of the super-fast fibre connection.
She said 2400 premises in Golden Point, Mount Pleasant and Bakery Hill would be affected.
“This further extends the Coalition’s digital divide in our community,” she said.
NBN rollout map at November 01, 2013. See the latest here. PICTURE: NBN CO
NBN a boon for business
WHEN moving to a new city, many choose the suburb based on proximity to schools, transport or even the local cafe.
For independent software developer Alex Bayley, it’s all about the speed of the internet – particularly whether she will be able to get the fastest National Broadband Network connection.
Ms Bayley is planning on moving to Ballarat from Melbourne before the end of the year and wants to have access to NBN fibre in her home.
Only some suburbs in Ballarat are currently slated to get high-speed fibre-to-the-home connections, with the rest waiting to see what the federal government decides to do with the NBN.
“My business involves a lot of remote work and video conference and screen sharing with people all around the world,” she said.
“I do that almost every day. At the moment I’m on an ADSL connection in Melbourne and it’s frustrating at times.
Ms Bayley said she had been looking at moving to suburbs such as Golden Point and Mount Pleasant, but would now rethink that due to the possibility they may not get fibre connections.