Broadband priority for North Coast

AMANDA MORRIS thinks the North Coast has a good case to present to the Federal Government to get priority in the $43 billion National Broadband Network roll-out.

“Getting fibre optic broadband will be a great equaliser. It’s the opportunity to catch up with the rest of Australia. It will bring us closer to the cities and make communication more affordable,” said Ms Morris, sales manager of Linear G in Lismore. The Lismore City Council this week urged local businesses to fill in its urgent online survey on Internet use for submission to the Minister for Broadband, Communication and the Digital Economy.

“We don’t want the NSW North Coast to be left waiting until the end of this process,” a spokesperson for Lismore City Council said.

The submission will argue why the Government should choose the North Coast to be next in line for ‘super fast’ Internet after Tasmania, the country’s fibre optic guinea pig, which is scheduled to get super fast Internet by mid-2010.

The fibre optic broadband roll-out will take eight years, which in ‘Internet years’ is for ever, according to Ms Morris. “Eight years ago people thought they only needed dial-up, but today broadband is essential,” she said.

Ms Morris said the fibre optic revolution, which promised Internet speeds of 100 megabits per second, rather than 12 megabits per second, would ‘change the landscape’ of how we do business online.

She said the new broadband network would mean that VoIP – phone calls via the Internet – would be affordable and viable and ‘break the Telco monopoly’.

“It would be great for jobs,” she said.

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