The NBN will be expanding to another 25,000 premises across the Northern Territory. Construction work has just begun to connect the areas of Berimah, Palmerston, Nightcliff, Nhulunbuy, Tennant Creek, Katherine, and Alice Springs to the network.
Justin Jarvis, NBN Spokesperson, said the NBN fixed wireless service was already available to some 5,000 premises in Darwin, but the goal is to make sure that majority of the territory gains access to faster internet speeds and services.
He said that this will have a strong impact on the local economy and businesses. It will also give residents more entertainment options.
According to mr. Jarvis, it usually takes 12 months from the beginning of construction for the premises to be able to access the broadband.
No exact date has been set for the 25,000 premises, but NBN Co is said to be on track with its 2020 target that aims to make the service available to all Australians.
8 million connections in total are targeted in this project and mr. Jarvis said that a huge amount of work needs to be done. He also said that more communities will be added over time.
It is estimated that there will be a rapid population growth in the Top End in the coming three to five years, but NBN Co said that they are ready and able to handle the increased demand for broadband.
The company’s new development programs are being incorporated into new buildings starting from the construction phase. Soon, all Darwin and Palmerston residents will get their services switched.
Concerns over the Territory falling behind in the broadband rollouts have been rampant in the last 12 months. This was due to the scarcity of skilled technicians as well as issues concerning the link up to the fibre optic cables.
Every region has its own set of challenges, Mr. Jarvis said. But efforts to speed up the rollout process, such as employing subcontractors and working with small businesses, have been undertaken.
Furthermore, he said that Darwin – being one of the first cities to have the NBN rolled out – has provided them with important lessons after having faced several challenges and difficulties in the construction of the technology inside large structures.