ABOUT 6000 households and businesses in Ballarat Central and Newington will be the first in our city to connect to the National Broadband Network’s fibre service.
NBN Co has released its first fibre map for Ballarat.
NBN Co community relations adviser Lalla Hinds said the release of the map meant those residents could start connecting to Australia’s first high speed national broadband network within 12 to 18 months.
“Now we issue the work orders to the contractors to complete the build,” she said.
“It takes about 12 to 18 months from the moment we release the map to the time the light is sent down the fibre.
“We could expect in three to five months to see fibre starting to roll down streets.”
The map displays two fibre areas — called ‘modules’ — that are bordered, approximately, by Macarthur Street to the north, Peel Street to the east, Latrobe Street to the south and Victoria Park to the west.
Six modules in total are planned for Ballarat.
“We’ll start with these two and fan out from there,” Ms Hinds said.
Ms Hinds said the area was selected as the first to be mapped out due to existing infrastructure.
“There would be a fibre access node or a Telstra exchange there currently,” she said.
The scheme will take 10 years to fit out the entire nation, with Ballarat arriving early in the NBN connection.
Ms Hinds said Ballarat had a unique opportunity to take advantage of its early poll position.
Areas in our region not covered by the fibre network will receive a fixed wireless service, which is also currently being rolled out.
Federal Member for Ballarat Catherine King said the release of the maps was exciting for families and business in the central part of Ballarat.
“It is the latest indication that the NBN and the faster broadband it brings is quickly becoming a reality across our region,” she said.
“From seeing a medical specialist from home, or your local doctor’s surgery, to your kids being able to take a specialist class at another school — even if your family lives in the bush — the NBN will change the way we live, work and access services.”
A community information session for residents will be staged by NBN Co to coincide with the start of physical construction.
NBN has scheduled an information session at Ballarat’s Central Square on July 14, indicating fibre could be rolled out as early as July.
Residents within the first two fibre areas will receive personal invitations to attend.