EXISTING homes and businesses in Ballarat are finally able to connect to National Broadband Network fibre services, marking a milestone for broadband services in the region.
Ballarat is one of the first regional cities to get access to the high-speed fibre connection, which was recently made available in parts of Lake Wendouree, Newington and Ballarat Central.
Around 2400 premises are included in the area, which is bordered by Winter Street, Cedar Drive, Wendouree Parade and Sturt Street.
Some new building developments have previously had access to fibre, however these are the first connections available in existing areas of Ballarat.
NBN workers in high-viz gear have been a conspicuous presence accross the region for the past year, increasing expectation that Ballarat would soon be able to connect.
Construction began in some parts of Ballarat in 2012, with delays for various reasons pushing the ready-for-service date back until the start of this year.
Extensive work has been required to build the huge infrastructure project, including the remediation of Telstra pits and hauling fibre.
Vice President of Internet Society Australia George Fong said the newly available fibre service, along with the region’s access to wireless NBN, gave Ballarat an edge over other regional cities.
“We are years ahead and are many steps closer to ubiquitous coverage across the greater Ballarat region,” he said.
Mr Fong said this “early starter advantage” was an opportunity for Ballarat to take a leadership role in regional Victoria in ensuring it
took full advantage of the benefits.
“That means the business and community groups need to step up to the plate and drive skills development and innovation with their members and stakeholders,” he said.
Construction has also begun on NBN fibre in other suburbs of Ballarat, including Black Hill, Ballarat East, Ballarat
North, Soldiers Hills and Brown Hill.