NBN begins to burrow in
A NEW housing estate at Wollongbar is set to be the first on the Northern Rivers to be connected to the $35 billion National Broadband Network.
Developer of Wollongbar Park Estate, Geoff Lawson, said he was "thrilled and excited" to be a part of the project.
"This is really important for our region," he said.
"Our timing was fortunate - we got our construction certificate just as NBN Co called for applications from developers of new estates that wanted to receive the NBN.
"We expect the optic fibre to be installed by May.
"People will be starting to move into their homes about six to eight weeks after that, so again, it's perfect timing.
"The NBN will be a great thing for homeowners.
"It will be instant.
"You'll be able to have two or three people on the internet at the same time, as well as two or three people on the phone."
Getting the NBN connected to his new housing estate is a coup for Mr Lawson, who has been involved with property development on the Northern Rivers for more than 30 years.
He has also done developments at Richmond Hill, Lismore and Nimbin.
Other developments have been less fortunate, such as the Avalon estate, also at Wollongbar, where residents have complained Telstra is refusing to install cables, citing an NBN-related dispute.
Mr Lawson said Wollongbar was an "up and coming" suburb which offered a lot to buyers from all age groups.
"Not that long ago, the only people who were buying in Wollongbar were people over 50, or even over 60," he added.
"But now families and younger people are looking here.
"I think Wollongbar is going to be a great place to live and it is going to keep that quiet rural village atmosphere.
"And having the NBN connected is just another great opportunity."
The high-speed NBN has already been rolled out in several locations across Australia, but so far there have been no connections on the far North Coast.
NBN Co's communications manager, Rhonda Griffin, this week confirmed with The Northern Star that stage one of Wollongbar Park Estate was an NBN project.
She said developers of housing estates could make an application to use the NBN, but must agree to sign a contract to install pit and pipe infrastructure to NBN Co's specifications and standards.
"Greenfield work is something NBN Co is carrying out in addition to the nationwide roll-out of the NBN to existing towns, suburbs and cities with 1000 or more premises," Ms Griffin said.
Fibre is being rolled out to 93% of the population and the remaining 7% will receive the NBN via satellite or fixed wireless.
"Installing fibre in new developments provides an opportunity to maximise efficiency and lower costs," Ms Griffin said.
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