By Paul Hemsley
Minister for Communications Senator Stephen Conroy’s frenetic rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN) has been extended to the City of South Perth where the government says construction is reaching its final stages in the area.
The City of South Perth announced that the first fibre cable was dug into the town of Victoria Park in December 2012 with work progressing in Kensington and Como and more work scheduled in the coming months for Karawara, Manning, Salter Point and Waterford.
The race to demonstrate the value of the NBN by connecting parts of Perth comes as federal Labor faces a potential electoral wipe out in WA following its internecine leadership ructions over the past fortnight.
The rollout in South Perth has brought the total amount of homes and businesses in line for connection to the NBN to 112,800 in Western Australia, including 68,000 premises across Perth. In South Perth, the broadband rollout is underway for 17,000 premises.
Senator Conroy said people living in South Perth should be able to start connecting to the NBN “progressively” from around June this year.
“The NBN will be available for prices that are similar to or less than what people are paying now on the ageing copper network, but the NBN will provide a much more superior and reliable service,” Senator Conroy said.
Senator Conroy also used his visit to Perth to officially launch the NBN Digital Hub and Digital Enterprise in Melville which has been created with a grant of $391,091 to the City of Melville. Digital Hubs have been previously launched across Australia in certain locations to provide free advice expert advice to residents and businesses about how to use the NBN.
The federal government has also provided an additional $270,000 to the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce to provide Digital Enterprise training services.
“Local people can get expert advice on everything from using a computer to understanding the possibilities of the NBN, while small businesses can access training to help them use the NBN to compete nationally and globally. I encourage everyone to make use of this great local service,” Senator Conroy said.
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