NBN roll-out on schedule

The scheduled roll-out of the National Broadband Network across the Latrobe Valley is set to go ahead as planned despite a forecast national delay to the program.

The NBN hit headlines recently with the Federal Government revealing a billion dollar cost blow-out while the NBN corporate plan forecast a six-month extension to the end of the national program, now projected as June 2021.

Last week an NBN spokesperson confirmed there had been “no changes to our three-year rollout plan for the Latrobe Valley – which includes Morwell and Traralgon”. 

“In fact the recent corporate plan confirms both the 12-month and three-year plans that NBN Co announced over recent months,” she said.

Work is scheduled to commence in Morwell by September 2014, with the last work set to start by December 2014.

Work will start earlier in Traralgon, by September 2013, with the final work to commence in March 2014. Work will start in Churchill and Rosedale by June 2015.

While Traralgon, Morwell and Churchill will be the first towns in Gippsland with internet connection speed options of up to 100 megabyte per second as part of the first three-year roll-out schedule, Moe missed out.

When that announcement was made in April, an NBN spokesperson said while it was unfortunate Moe was not included in the initial roll-out, all areas penned to receive NBN would be serviced within 10 years.

Last week the State Government claimed a recent telecommunications report showed more than 350,000 Victorian households and businesses wanted faster broadband services than what was available to them.

State Technology Minister Gordon Rich-Phillips said the rollout of the NBN had left Victoria “stuck in slow motion” and was “failing to keep pace with demand for high-speed broadband services” in the state.

“It’s clear the Commonwealth’s rollout plan is not hitting areas where there is strong demand for services or those areas that would benefit most from adequate services.

“Delays in the NBN rollout have resulted in much lower coverage of third wave broadband and have exacerbated unmet demand for these services,” Mr Rich-Phillips said, adding regional and rural Victorian areas had poorer coverage than their metropolitan counterparts.