Construction of the National Broadband Network (NBN) is finally set to begin in much of Wagga in mere months, but a number of southern suburbs face a longer wait.
The latest NBN roll-out plan indicates construction will begin on high-speed internet infrastructure to service more than 17,000 homes in the city will begin in February.
However, residents in Bourkelands, Lake Albert, Springvale, Tatton and parts of Kooringal and Tolland are set to face a longer wait, with construction in those areas not scheduled to start until the second half of 2017.
Though he acknowledged there would be some frustration for residents in suburbs set for the longer wait for the NBN, Wagga mayor Rod Kendall welcomed the announcement.
“It would be nice to have it all done at once, but you can’t build it all in one day,” he said.
“Areas of Wagga will have some frustrations because they’re not in the early part of the build, but I think everybody should be confident the whole of Wagga will be serviced by the NBN in the next couple of years.”
Cr Kendall said confirmation the NBN was on its way to Wagga would provide a particular boost to the eastern industrial area of the city, which has been crippled by slow internet speeds for years.
Most of the roll-out will involve the use of the cheaper fibre-to-the-node technology, though a small number of homes in the first part of the roll-out will have fibre connected directly to the premises.
Riverina Labor assistant secretary Tim Kurylowicz, who has campaigned strongly to have the NBN installed in Wagga, said he was disappointed the city was getting a delayed “second-rate product”.
“Something’s always better than nothing but I think you have to acknowledge we were this close to getting world-class broadband and now we’re back on the pathway to being behind what the cities get,” he said.
“Once again we have a two-speed digital divide in this country.”
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