Queensland’s flood-hit Grantham gets the NBN

news Internode has switched on high-speed broadband at the first newly completed house in a subdivision of Grantham. The Queensland town is under reconstruction, with 150 residents moving to higher ground, after it was destroyed by floods in January this year. This makes the newly connected home the first to link to the National Broadband Network in South East Queensland.

Anna Bligh, Queensland Premier launched the new estate in an official ceremony on December 10th. Along with NBN Co and FetchTV, Internode is providing three months of free access to high-speed broadband, NodePhone telephony and the FetchTV Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) service to the new occupants of the house.

Over 130 homes in the Grantham valley community of 360 residents were damaged and 10 people were killed during the floods. In the struggle to recover, it was feared that Grantham would be abandoned because some residents were unable or unwilling to rebuild.

Jim Kellett, Internode Product Manager called the free set-up and three-month access to the NBN, phone and FetchTV a small housewarming gift for the new residents of the house. NBN Co had promised that by Christmas, Grantham residents and business owners would be able to access the Internet at speeds of up to 100 megabits per second, which is 10 times faster than most Australians can.

FetchTV provides a high-definition, three-tuner set-top box and personal video recorder that can access dozens of free-to-air, digital and Internet-streamed TV channels. FetchTV’s video-on-demand accesses a wide range of popular movies and television shows. Users can control FetchTV with a dedicated remote control or with an iPhone, using a free, easy-to-use app from the iTunes store.

Kellett reckoned that the FetchTV service would help the new house feel like home right from the beginning. “Broadband is central to how families lead their lives today, so giving this family immediate, no-cost access to broadband and a phone service is a meaningful way we can assist them to re-establish their lives in Grantham,” Kellett said.

Archie Wilson, NBN Co Head of Rollout Engagement added that the switching on of the NBN at Grantham would open up important opportunities for residents to operate their businesses, engage with the wider world and educate their children. “It’s only fitting that a national infrastructure project that will eventually benefit all Australians could be mobilised to help those most in need of reliable telecommunications,” he said.

The Courier-Mail reported Locker Valley Regional Council Mayor Steve Jones calling this fantastic news. “This comes at a fortunate time as we look to re-establish the commercial hub in negotiation with business owners, regarding relocation to higher ground,” Jones said.

Image credit: Jan Smith, Creative Commons


    • As someone that was badly affected by weather earlier in the year I can say that faster broadband is pretty low priority for me. I, like everyone else in the same situation, just want my house fixed so I can move back in and resume my life and preferably before the first anniversary of Cyclone Yasi.

      A usable house trumps the NBN every time.

      • Yes pete I can see the headlines now: “NBNco refuses to rollout in flood ravaged regions…” Joe Blow from Grantham had this to say: “It’s bad enough that we get flooded but it seems like the gobermint doesn’t care about us at all because they are rolling out the NBN in regions that dont get flooded first, we just want to resume our normal lives just like everyone else but they get priority! It’s a bloody outrage it is!”

          • No the actual point which Pete is trying to say is one of priorities, i.e. he would rather the government spend their money actually fixing queensland instead of providing high speed broadband, which is probably bottom of the list regarding what the flood prone areas actually require

          • OMG.

            The copper network was destroyed by the floods in Grantham. So instead of rebuilding it with copper – (and wasting that investment when the fibre came along) – they brought Grantham back online with fibre, and saved that outlay.

            Money is saved, and you still complain.

          • “No the actual point which Pete is trying to say is one of priorities”

            My point is he sounds like a whiner…

            “the government spend their money actually fixing queensland instead of providing high speed broadband”

            Explain why they cant do both. Perhaps you or pete would like to explain why you believe a government cant do both.

            “which is probably bottom of the list regarding what the flood prone areas actually require”

            Flood prone areas do not require communications infrastructure? Are you saying replace copper with copper and then replace copper with fibre later? Wow, talk about extravagant.

  1. Yes, you can see The Australian headlines now…

    White Elephant stampedes over poor unsuspecting Queenslanders

        • Nooo, we really don’t need it do we, so lets all stick our fingers in our ears and our heads up our a**es, like good old Johnny Howard used to do. That’s so much more productive.

  2. NBN success? Check.

    Good news for battlers? Check.

    Recovery from tragedy? Check.

    Hard for Limited News to do a hit job on this – and I notice that they didn’t even try.

    The comments on the Courier-Mail article are pure bilious wretchedness, but you can’t do much about that.

  3. Love to see how much the cost is per resident in this backwater towns. Its $5000 per average across the country. Does that mean to lay cable out to these remote towns it costs $30,000-80,000 per resident out there?….. Most probably when you count in all the costs involved in servicing a area like that. Like I said before though, if your going to spend $50 billion of the tax payers money, there are worst things to spend it on. The NBN is about the only thing the government could build that would truely create jobs in the private sector where it matters most. Turnbull should just let it happen Labor blew $200 billion the first 4 years on overpaid rorted unproductive projects. Whats another $50 billion for something that will put us in the front of the world in IT connections. Its gonna take the liberals 20 years to pay off the Labor debt anyways if they even can again.

  4. Stephen you are misinformed, No taxpayer money is being spent. The NBN will be funded by its users (and make a modest profit).

    • Paul, they aren’t getting the money from private markets to fund this as a business. They are throwing the cost on the countries credit card and like all government run businesses it will cost 2x what its projected to cost.. But yes it will probably make a profit by 2030 because they are installing a Monopoly. If it had to compete with the existing broadband ADSL2 current network, well it would be the biggest white elephant ever with a pickup rate of 30-40%. Lucky they pushed the Monoploy factor or it would of never made money.

  5. I wish they would stop calling 100MBPS 10x faster than most get – it is 100 times faster. And for many reliability is also a critical factor. We don’t all live in inner city locations with the best of everything.

    The exercise is just a marketing spin for internode of course.

  6. Hey, How about we use a photo of a business that is still standing, that building hasn’t been there since Feb 2011. Also I agree that the NBN needs to be rolled out, but all I can see now is the locals there whinging about having the pay for it… I mean they have been given everything else for free… They (most) are looking like freeloaders now.

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