NBN Co claim that fast broadband is just around the corner in Benalla with construction officially under way to connect 4100 homes and businesses.
However, as reported in The Ensign in previous months, that might not necessarily mean a faster connection than existing ADSL options.
NBN crews will be on the ground laying the fibre backbone to the network and installing node cabinets throughout the area, with people in Benalla expected to be able to progressively start making the switch from May next year.
Currently several thousand homes and businesses in the region, including parts of Benalla, Violet Town, Mansfield, Glenrowan and Winton are already able to connect to the NBN network using fixed-wireless technology.
Many premises in the region are also eligible to connect to the NBN through the Sky Muster satellite service, which has been available to regional and remote Australians since April 2016.
However, with Fibre to the Home scrapped in favour of Fibre to the Node and Fibre to the Curb, any super-fast connections will slow once they hit the existing copper network.
In-spite of this NBN Co is pushing forward with its assertion that the network will be a great benefit to the community.
Head of NBN local Victoria, Ebony Aitken, said that news was terrific for Benalla as it meant the community would be fully connected to the NBN access network once construction was complete.
‘‘In May next year, many local residents and businesses will have access to fast broadband; something that has been desperately needed in regional and rural Australia for many years,’’ Ms Aitken said.
‘‘Bridging Australia’s digital divide is vital for regional areas like Benalla with the NBN access network helping to enable residents and businesses to be more productive, more creative, more efficient and more connected for decades to come.’’
Due to the civil works required in the construction of the NBN access network, residents and businesses may experience some disruptions.
●For general project enquiries, phone the nbn customer service team on 1800687626 or visit www.nbnco.com.au