Fibre-optic roll-out: thousands forced to wait

DESPITE initial plans for National Broadband Network fibre to be available throughout Ballarat this year, it appears thousands of homes will have to wait until 2014 to be connected.

Construction of the fibre-to-the-premises NBN is continuing to take place across Ballarat and has taken longer than expected, according to independent monitoring website myNBN.info.

NBNCo has stopped releasing the information of when it expects areas will be “ready for service”, however myNBN.info has continued to publish the

information.

According to the website, just one “fibre serving area module” – comprising areas around Lake Wendouree, Newington and Ballarat Central – is ready to start offering fibre connections to the NBN.

Five other areas in Ballarat are still being rolled out, with most “ready for service” dates believed to have pushed out from the end of this year until the middle of 

next year.  Two of those areas are considered to be closer to completion by the end of January, including areas around Black Hill, Soldiers Hill, Ballarat North, Redan and Ballarat Central.

Software developer Troy Mcilvena said he was thankful his house in Ballarat North was still included in the plans to get a fibre-to-the-premises connection.

“I consider myself one of the very lucky few, delay or no delay,” he said.

“It’s the people who have no prospect of ever having access to sufficient broadband (upload and download capacity) who I campaign on behalf of.’’

Earlier this year, NBN Co changed its maps, removing thousands of premises in Canadian, Mount Pleasant and Golden Point that were scheduled to receive high-speed fibre-optic connections.

NBN Co did not return The Courier’s requests for comment.

tom.cowie@fairfaxmedia.com.au

Editorial, page 17

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