Linknet offers best service
MULLUMBIMBY-based Internet company Linknet will invest millions of dollars to bring wireless broadband to thousands of Northern Rivers homes and businesses that cannot currently access the worldwide web.
The locally-owned company will build 15 towers to provide wireless broadband to extend coverage to more than 30 villages and towns throughout the Byron, Lismore, Ballina and Richmond Valley shires.
“The availability of Linknet’s next generation high-speed service to literally thousands of homes and businesses on the Northern Rivers will provide them with access to the online resources our city cousins have taken for granted for years,” Linknet founder Peter Bundy said.
The company, which has provided dial-up services since it was founded in 1998, is building the wireless network as part of the Federal Government’s Australian Broadband Guarantee (ABG) for regional Australia.
As the only registered ABG provider on the Northern Rivers, Mr Bundy said it could offer free installation until the Government funds ran out.
The ABG ensures most of the 10 per cent of homes, schools and businesses that operate outside of major population centres will not miss out on the Government’sNational Broadband Network.
Only about 60 per cent of homes and businesses on the Northern Rivers have Internet access, and only 30pc have high-speed broadband.
Access to high-speed and reliable Internet is increasingly important to businesses of all sizes, as well as to households.
“High-speed broadband services should be considered an essential infrastructure item for our community, alongside roads, power and water services,” Mr Bundy said.
Linknet’s multi-million dollarinvestment across the region will also see the company double the size of its workforce over the next couple of years.
Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell said the wireless roll-out would be a major economic boost.
“The availability of high-speed broadband to residents in Lismore shire will improve social horizons and enable both companies and individuals to grasp trade and business opportunities across Australia and across the world,” she said.
“Broadband is no longer just about technology, it is about economic development in regional areas.”
The Linknet wireless network is expected to extend from Grafton to Mullumbimby and towards Casino and Kyogle by March next year.