Today marks the end of the first release National Broadband Network (NBN) trial sites on mainland Australia, with a celebration held at the fifth and final site in Willunga, South Australia.
Willunga, 47 kilometres south of Adelaide, is the first location in South Australia to gain access to the high-speed NBN and the last of five initial trial locations to go live on mainland Australia.
It was the only site where 100 per cent of the underground infrastructure had to be built — NBN Co had to install a number of puts and pipes rather than being able to make use of existing underground or overhead infrastructure that was found at the four other sites.
940 premises in Willunga are covered by the network, with 91% or 860 premises having consented to having a free connection to the network.
More than 150 invited residents and businesses in the region will begin trialling the network until October, when the network will come out of a trial phase and all connected residents will be able to sign up for NBN plans.
“What’s really exciting… is that today marks the start of a new era of broadband possibilities for people in Willunga’s homes, businesses and schools that now have access to the NBN,” NBN Co CEO Mike Quigely said today. “They now have the benefits of fibre optic connections to the NBN behind them.”
Willunga’s Business and Tourism Association and the Southern Success Business Enterprise Centre have begun a series of initiatives for a number of local businesses, teaching them how to make the most of the NBN.
“The Willunga First Release rollout represents the collective efforts of many people, including our construction partner ETSA Utilities,” Quigley said. “They did a great job from start to finish.”
NBN Co says it chose the Willunga site because it allowed them to work in an established rural area that provided a diverse range of housing types and situations the organisation expects to discover as it rolls the network out across Australia.
Attention now turns to the next phase of the NBN project on mainland Australia, with work already underway on the first of many second release sites. NBN Co is also preparing to begin work on a number of rural 4G LTE sites that’ll provide wireless high-speed broadband.
Image Credit: NBN Co