GREATER Hume Council threw its support behind Walla’s push to upgrade its National Broadband Network at its meeting yesterday.
Being a town of less than 1000 houses, Walla will receive fixed wireless internet service under the NBN scheme, unlike 93 per cent of Australia, which will receive the fibre optic cable system.
A fixed wireless service requires a 55-metre broadband internet tower in the centre of town.
Jindera and Henty will also receive fixed wireless service.
Walla residents said their town had the highest concentration of big business in the shire, with five organisations that employed 255 people and turned over $53.7 million a year.
Walla engineer Andrew Kotzur said at the Greater Hume Council meeting at Culcairn that Walla needed the best internet access possible.
“We’re not just insular,” he said.
“There’s significant interaction with the rest of the world.”
Interaction that a fixed wireless service will hinder, Mr Kotzur said.
He said the speed of fixed wireless service would leave the town’s companies behind and unable to participate in internet-based training or effectively communicate with clients and other business.
“We can’t use a basic thing like Skype at the moment,” he said.
“Fixed wireless service will still not allow us to do that.”
Mr Kotzur also said St Paul’s College would be left behind other educational institutions and it could effect the town’s population and growth.
“People will decide where to live based on their access,” he said.
“They will choose places that will have fibre.”
Mayor Heather Wilton agreed and said the council supported Walla’s application with NBN for an upgrade.
“I think they’ve got a very good case. It has a number of significant industries,” Cr Wilton said.
“We will definitely be supporting their application.”
Mr Kotzur said the process was now to find out how much an upgrade would cost Walla before submitting an application to NBN.