Professor Peter Croll, one of the architects of the Coffs Harbour NBN proposal.
Professor Peter Croll, one of the architects of the Coffs Harbour NBN proposal.

Coffs moves to the digital future

IN a massive boost for Coffs Harbour, the government has just announced the city will be the only regional centre in NSW to be part of the next National Broadband Network roll-out.

News that the city is one of just 19 locations Australia-wide for the second wave of roll-outs has been greeted with delight by Coffs Harbour City Council.

"This is a fantastic result for all the partners involved in the submission urging NBN Co to establish the broadband network as quickly as possible on the North Coast," said Coffs Harbour Mayor, Councillor Keith Rhoades.

"The partnership of Southern Cross University, Coffs Harbour City Council, the local businesses involved and our neighbouring councils has been key to persuading the company of the enormous economic and educational benefits that a high-speed broadband network would bring to the region.

"However, a great deal of the credit for achieving this result must go to the Federal Member for Page, Janelle Saffin, who was instrumental in coordinating the councils and businesses regionally and lobbying in Canberra for an early roll-out for the North Coast," he said.

Initially each site will see the network rolled out past approximately 3000 premises, but the exact area to be covered will be determined after further discussion with local authorities to ensure local considerations are factored into the final decision.

NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley said: "These sites have been selected based on a range of criteria including engineering and construction requirements, network design and the level of existing broadband infrastructure. The engagement of local government and the receptiveness of communities to broadband initiatives were also factors taken into consideration," he said.

The company expects construction in the second wave locations to begin in the second quarter of 2011.

The phase-two roll-out locations are:

Victoria – Bacchus Marsh, South Morang (Melbourne);

Queensland – Brisbane (inner north), Springfield Lakes, Toowoomba;

NSW – Riverstone (western Sydney), Coffs Harbour;

South Australia – Modbury, Prospect;

Western Australia – Victoria Park (Perth), Geraldton, Mandurah;

Northern Territory – Casuarina; and

ACT – Gungahlin

The five existing locations getting an additional, adjacent rollout site are Minnamurra/Kiama Downs (Kiama) and Armidale in NSW, Townsville Qld, Brunswick in Melbourne, and Willunga in South Australia. As the whole township of Willunga is already part of the rollout, the nearby area of Seaford/McLaren Vale will be the adjacent site.

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