Darwin is the first to get working on the new NBN rollout on the Australian mainland.
Tasmania got it up and running, now the NBN is starting up in Northern Territory (no politics going on there!), as Nextgen Networks is carrying out the construction work as part of the NBN Regional Backbone Blackspot Program.
This fibre optic link will run from Darwin, through central and south east Queensland to Toowoomba, as part of the Government.s $250 million program.
“One of the biggest obstacles for fast broadband in Mt Isa has been the lack of competitive fibre optic backbone services,” said Federal Broadband Minister Stephen Conroy. “Once complete, this link will allow other broadband providers to enter the market and offer faster broadband speeds, cheaper prices and more choice for people and businesses across the region.”
In total, this program will see nearly 6,000km of new backbone links constructed across five separate routes. Mt Isa is the midway point along the 3,835km route from Darwin to Toowoomba, and the longest of the five regional backbone links to be constructed under the program.
Construction of the Darwin, Mt Isa, Emerald and Longreach link will take around 18 months and once complete, will directly benefit more than 160,000 people in more than 40 regional locations across the Northern Territory and Queensland. In total, the five links will connect more than 100 regional locations and benefit approximately 395,000 people in regional Australia.
The Darwin, Emerald and Longreach route will provide access points in regional centres including Mt Isa, Barcaldine, Berrimah, Blackwater, Casuarina, Chinchilla, Howard Springs, Katherine, Nightcliff, Noonamah, Oakey, Palmerston, Roma, Dalby, Arcadia, Apunyal, Bogantungan, Gunnewin, Jericho, Morella, Pickajinnie, Toowoomba, Winton and Tennant Creek.
Nextgen expects to create more than 1,000 full time jobs. In addition, assistance will be provided to regional communities to take full advantage of the new infrastructure through $5 million in funding for Rural NBN Coordinators.