NARRE Warren South – Casey’s “biggest internet black spot” – was officially added to the Federal Government’s NBN rollout list this week.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull visited Casey Central Shopping Centre on Tuesday to announce the long-awaited development which will see work on Narre Warren South’s NBN begin in the second half of 2016.
It’s understood 13,800 premises will be covered by the Narre Warren South rollout in a designated region that stretches south of Ernst Wanke Road and north of Thompsons Road.
Mr Turnbull told those attending the announcement to expect the suburb’s entire rollout to be either fibre to the node or to the building, but not to the home.
He said the Liberals had “re-orientated” the former Labor Government’s project to make the NBN rollout quick and cost-effective by using “whatever technology enables you to get the job done.”
“We’re not taking fibre into every single house and every shop and every flat in Australia as Labor was because truthfully it would take … people would be waiting for more than a decade to get very fast broadband and the cost will be astronomical,” Mr Turnbull said.
“So we’re taking a more pragmatic approach and I think that’s enabling us to roll it out much more quickly.”
Narre Warren South resident and IT worker Steve Barnes, who works from home and has been advocating for a better internet service in his area for the last 12 years, welcomed the announcement.
Discussing the fact Narre Warren South’s NBN rollout would consist of predominantly fibre to the node set-ups, Mr Barnes said “beggars can’t be choosers”.
“At the moment we’re lucky if we get to two meg, so getting better than that is fantastic,” he said.
“I would suggest we’d get somewhere around 25 meg, or 50 meg, they’re saying it can go up to 100 but we’ll see.
“It will make a massive difference.”
Tuesday’s announcement was convened by La Trobe MP Jason Wood and also attended by Casey councillors Sam Aziz, Louise Berkelmans, Rafal Kaplon and Mick Morland.
Cr Sam Aziz said the need for faster internet had been the “number one” issue in his River Gum Ward, where Narre Warren South is situated, since he assumed council office at the end of 2008.
Cr Aziz noted there were 19,500 businesses in Casey that relied on a healthy internet speed, which he said equated to one in every four dwellings in the municipality.
“This is an absolute game-changer for both homes and businesses in this electorate,” he said.
“Narre Warren South is the biggest internet black spot in the City of Casey.”
Residents can check the NBN status of their suburb at www.nbnco.com.au/rolloutplan.
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