MORE than 1450 Border homes and businesses will be the next to benefit from the latest National Broadband Network roll-out.
Another 12 communities in the Hume and Upper Murray regions are next on the list for fast broadband, and construction of the fixed wireless network will start at five new sites — Jindera, Table Top, Kiewa, Ebden and Corryong.
Albury mayor Kevin Mack welcomed the roll-out, saying it would give Border businesses a competitive edge.
“The reality for us as a regional economy is that we’re lagging behind others worldwide,” he said.
“The NBN will give us opportunities to test world markets via the web.
“For someone operating a digital business that relies on overseas markets, it’s very difficult from here at the moment.
“This gives us a chance to be part of the markets we need to be in.”
Ettamogah, Thurgoona, Table Top, Ebden, Wirlinga, Bethanga, Jindera, Hamilton Valley, Kiewa, Towong, Corryong and Bonegilla will benefit.
Cr Mack said the new wireless sites would help “level out the playing field” of the broadband network.
“A lot has been hit and miss with new estates,” he said. “This is a chance to play catch up.”
Cr Mack said the announcement came at the right time for the Albury and Wodonga councils’ recently adopted digital strategy for the Border to make the most of digital opportunities.
“We’ve got to educate people that this is the way of the world and it’s really important to have that infrastructure in place,” he said.
NBN Co spokesman Corries Withers said the fixed wireless service could bring better broadband to the bush, with download speeds of up to 25 megabits a second and upload speeds of up to five megabits a second.
“The NBN also means you can get the whole family on line at once, opening opportunities for farms, businesses and the region to participate in the digital age,” he said.
“Fast broadband can deliver improved access to health, education and entertainment over high-quality video links.”
A broadband roll-out takes about a year before clients can order NBN retail services from phone or internet service providers.
The interactive map nbnco.com.au/rollout/rollout-map shows which homes and businesses are involved.