NBN promises roll on across Ipswich region

ANOTHER 4200 homes and businesses have been included in Telstra's National Broadband Network services, connecting Bellbird Park, Augustine Heights, Boonah and Moogerah areas.

Telstra announced the switch-on of extra services in the region 12 months after bringing the fibre network to Ipswich on the NBN, using high-speed fibre and fixed wireless technology.

Telstra Country Wide Area General Manager for Brisbane South Andrew Kelly said more than 16,000 serviceable addresses were now available in the city.

Mr Kelly said the switch-on marked the beginning of a new era for the Ipswich community, putting new services and applications within reach of more local residents and businesses.

"The arrival of super-fast broadband is great news for the community," he said.

"With web use in the home on the rise, the NBN will provide the bandwidth to get the entire household online at the same time using a growing range of connected PCs, games consoles, tablets and smartphones.

"Fast broadband also opens up terrific possibilities like attending a specialist appointment from home using video chat, or for students to participate in lectures online when they can't be at university."

Ipswich business groups welcomed the announcement but had already been scarred by previous broken promises on the NBN roll-out.

Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce held a breakfast to welcome NBN to Springfield two years ago after NBN announced the roll-out, a promise that is yet to be delivered.

Chamber president Ralph Breaden said members were now being asked to go on a waiting list for ADSL and the chamber was meeting stakeholders to get action.

"We're an area now of 30,000 people. We've been promised it numerous times, businesses have made decisions to come here and they've been let down," Mr Breaden said.

"It's not just that a lot of them can't get the speed they want, we've got businesses that can't even get access out unless they buy an expensive mobile solution.

"We're taking matters into our own hands now and we're getting together with various stakeholders in the area to formulate a strategy to make sure that the Government is listening to Springfield. We've had enough."

Mr Breaden said the mobile satellite ADSL and extra towers in Springfield were not enough for the rapidly growing Springfield area.

"They're only bandaid solutions," he said. "They're not the proper infrastructure that this growing, emerging community needs. It is a thorn in our side right now and we are tackling it.

"My concern is that if we roll forward another year and a half and Springfield has grown by another couple of thousand people and another couple of hundred businesses, what's the infrastructure going to be like then? That's why we need to take the action now."

A spokesman for NBN Co said hold-ups with promised roll-out to the Springfield area had been resolved and the rollout plan would be updated in the next couple of weeks.

"Early on in the project NBN needed to negotiate with a third party to find an area where we could locate the equipment needed for the rollout in Springfield," the spokesman said.

"Usually we locate our equipment in the Telstra exchanges, however there was not enough room in the Springfield exchange. This issue has now been resolved.

"NBN has a public rollout plan which indicates where we intend to start construction in the next 18 months. This will be updated in the next couple of weeks."

Mr Kelly said broadband use had reached unprecedented levels.

"The streaming video revolution is accelerating demand for fast, reliable connectivity, with more than half of Telstra's broadband traffic now video related," he said.


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