NBN to cover half of Border in 2017

When James Mullins started work as a radiologist 20 years ago, a terabyte of storage cost $100,000 – now, he is anticipating the activation of NBN.

The first fixed-line services will be switched on in West Albury from Thursday.

The X-Ray Group Albury plans to go live early in 2017 and Mr Mullins said data would then travel faster between the group’s four sites.

EXCITED: The X-Ray Group radiologist James Mullins says the NBN, to be set up at the Albury branch early 2017, will enable faster data transfer between sites.

EXCITED: The X-Ray Group radiologist James Mullins says the NBN, to be set up at the Albury branch early 2017, will enable faster data transfer between sites.

“ADSL probably hasn’t been fast enough to run things – that’s why we’ve needed to have microwave networks in the past,” he said.

“We’ve spent a lot of money on those networks to move data and the NBN will make that a lot cheaper.”

NBN chief executive Bill Morrow visited Albury to launch the network and said the roll-out across Albury-Wodonga would be “halfway done” by June 2017.

“About 4000 (homes and businesses) are on board and by the end of 2016, another 20,000,” he said.

“About 90 per cent of the time there’s no issue in installation ... but there’s still some people who unfortunately get a less than desirable experience.” 

ON SCHEDULE: NBN chief executive Bill Morrow says the roll-out across Albury-Wodonga will be “halfway done” by June 2017. Picture: ELENOR TEDENBORG

ON SCHEDULE: NBN chief executive Bill Morrow says the roll-out across Albury-Wodonga will be “halfway done” by June 2017. Picture: ELENOR TEDENBORG

At the Tuesday launch, problems with the roll-out in developing housing estates and businesses were raised.

Mr Morrow said he suspected there would be legislative change to prevent homes being left without a permanent internet service for periods of time.

“When a new block of land is going up, if it’s before NBN has commenced construction, Telstra has a legal responsibility to build copper into your house or business to make sure you have a telecom service,” he said.

“However, as soon as we declare construction has started, Telstra legally has no more obligation  … and it could be six months to a year before construction is done.”

Farrer MP Sussan Ley said the NBN fixed line would offer three to four times faster internet speeds than many existing ADSL broadband connections in Albury.

“This really is an exciting period, with the east and south of the city set to have access to the fibre network by the middle of next month and the rest of the CBD online in November,” she said.

“Access to NBN is expected across Glenroy, Lavington, Springdale Heights and Thurgoona in the first half of next year.”   

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