Courtesy of the Illawarra Mercury;
“Kiama has recorded one of the fastest National Broadband Network take-up rates in the country since commercial services launched late last year.
Of the 2500 Kiama Downs and Minnamurra homes and businesses with access to the network, more than 600 have made the switch, according to government-owned builder NBN Co.
‘‘When we benchmark the take-up rate here compared to what telcos have seen in other parts of the world, it normally takes two or three years to get to 25 per cent take-up that we’ve got in Kiama after a relatively short time,’’ chief executive officer Mike Quigley said.
A similar figure had been achieved at the Willunga trial site in South Australia, he said.
Mr Quigley and a team of NBN Co officials visited the region yesterday on a fact-finding mission and to meet Kiama Mayor Sandra McCarthy.
He linked the high number of early users at the Kiama first release site to the council’s
efforts to work with the community and develop applications for the NBN.
Kiama Downs and Minnamurra residents were among the first in mainland Australia to join the fibre network, which will pass another 5200 sites in Kiama and Jamberoo by the end of the year.
Kiama council recently became the first local government on the mainland to connect, while data is also flowing across the network to a new digital hub at the town’s library.
Mr Quigley said other early release sites could learn from Kiama’s initiatives.
NBN Co announced this week an extra 16,000 homes in Wollongong, Dapto and a new release site at Corrimal would have access to the network by 2014.
However, Mr Quigley was unable to provide information about when the network would reach parts of the region that have so far missed out, including Gerringong and Gerroa.
‘‘We are being lobbied, as you would expect, very strongly from councils all around the country, so we’ll move just as fast as we can and we are keen to get on obviously and do Gerroa and Gerringong just as soon as possible,’’ he said.
He also recognised Shellharbour City Council was keen to join the network, but could not say if it would be included in NBN Co’s three-year plan, to be announced by the end of March.”