Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

TAP INTO TRADE Opportunity Awaits a Better Connection; NBN Connection Boon for Regional Business

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

TAP INTO TRADE Opportunity Awaits a Better Connection; NBN Connection Boon for Regional Business

Article excerpt

Byline: Sophie Lester

AS MORE and more homes on the outskirts of Warwick are receiving news of their NBN connectivity options, businesses and residences in central Warwick are still awaiting the rollout of fibre-to-the-node broadband, expected in the first half of next year.

Almost 3350 premises around the district, including in Rosenthal Heights, Maryvale, Yangan, Killarney and parts of Deuchar and Cunningham can now connect to National Broadband Network on the fixed wireless connection.

Southern Downs councillor Neil Meiklejohn has long been a proponent of getting the NBN to open up business opportunities for the region's residents.

He said he was pleased with the progress made, but that there was still a way to go as parts of central Warwick and Stanthorpe awaited the roll out of fibre-to-the-node in the next year.

"My understanding is there is only isolated areas at the moment able to connect to the fixed wireless service but it's certainly a good start from a regional perspective," Cr Meiklejohn said.

"The reality of the policy was the government identified many residents in rural areas were far worse off (without any internet) and made it a priority to deliver fixed wireless and satellite connections in those areas.

"It's better than what it was and now they're moving into the urban areas so we'll be playing catch up," he said. "It's going to be another part of closing that digital divide and ensure we're not at a disadvantage compared to our urban cousins."

The interest from the community is clear.

Warwick Telstra store NBN specialist Jess Naumann said there were 700 expressions of interests lodged in the past year.

"From the people we've heard from in the rural areas already connected to the fixed wireless they love the faster speeds, though a fair few wouldn't have been able to connect with ADSL previously," Miss Naumann said. …

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