The rollout of the NBN has begun in Australia’s north-west with construction work commencing in areas of Western Australia’s north.
Construction has begun in parts of Gap Ridge, Millars Well, and Nickol, as well as further north in Derby.
Further work continuing in the coming months is expected in Baynton, Bulgarra, Karratha, Karratha Industrial Estate, Mulataga, Pegs Creek, Stove Hill, and remaining parts of Gap Ridge, Millars Well and Nickol.
In total, the roll out will cover more than 7,500 premises with the first areas expected to be switched on towards the end of 2017.
Wickham and Point Samson will be the next areas within the Pilbara followed by Port Hedland, South Hedland, Wedgefield, Roebourne, Dampier, Newman, Paraburdoo and Tom Price – totalling more than 16,000 premises.
Travelling further north, more than 2,000 premises within Derby will soon be able to connect to the NBN with initial construction works underway.
The roll out within Kununurra, Broome, Bilingurr, Cable Beach, Djugun and Minyirr is also scheduled to commence in the coming months.
WA Corporate Affairs Manager Ebony Aitken said, “The NBN roll out in WA is really gaining momentum with more than 440,000 homes and businesses now able to connect.
“In fact to date, 70 per cent of the roll out has been within regional areas so it’s great to be able to hit the ground running in WA’s north.
“This year, construction will also commence in parts of the Gascoyne. Overall, throughout the Kimberley, Pilbara and Gascoyne regions the roll out will cover around 40,000 premises so it’s certainly exciting news.”
In 2015, nbn was being made available to 1,300 homes and businesses per week in Western Australia. In 2016 that rate increased to more than 2,100 new properties a week and in 2017 it is forecast to reach around 5,500 premises every single week in Western Australia.
“Today, we hit a huge milestone with the two millionth premises activated, nationally. We’re now one quarter of the way towards our goal of connecting eight million homes and businesses to the network by 2020 and becoming the first fully-connected continent in the world,” Ms Aitken said.
In 2016, nbn launched its Sky Muster satellite service which will provide access to fast broadband to more than 60,000 remote and regional areas within Western Australia including those in many parts of the state’s north.
By the end of June 2017, nbn is targeting to have a total of 5.4 million homes and businesses NBN ready. The number of people able to connect will expand to nine million homes by June 2018.