Lithgow to wait until August 2018 for full NBN connection

PHOTO: File photo.

PHOTO: File photo.

Lithgow won’t be connected to the National Broadband Network in full until August 2018.

Question were raised by local councillors on the status of the National Broadband Network’s (NBN) rollout in Lithgow at Monday’s council meeting, considering services are now working in parts of Wallerawang, Bathurst and Oberon but not here.

At the meeting councillor Ray Thompson raised the issue as a matter of great urgency.

While he was informed by the council’s General Manager, Roger Bailey, that NBN Co had made a presentation to council on the rollout Cr Thompson said he was unaware of any such thing.

Cr Thompson requested for NBN Co to make another presentation to council to outline the NBN’s rollout in Lithgow.

The request was backed by councillor Wayne McAndrew, who said it was a matter of great urgency for our community and local small businesses.

NBN Co has since confirmed to the Lithgow Mercury it delivered a briefing to council on the NBN’s rollout on July 11, 2016.

A spokesperson said construction works to connect 6,500 homes and businesses to the NBN in Lithgow were “in the design phase” and due to commence in August 2017.

The spokesperson said factors that determine who gets what first include geographical location, existing infrastructure, cost and time to build.

Despite the wait, the majority of Lithgow will be connected to the NBN via the faster “fixed line” service according to the spokesperson.

A “few hundred” homes in the area will be connected to the NBN via the fixed wireless service.

“Some homes and businesses in the area are also able to access the network through NBN’s Sky Muster satellite service which was launched in late April of this year,” the spokesperson said.

Fixed line provides the fastest speeds, but fixed wireless is used for many regional areas, with the satellite service meant to service remote regions.

Mr Bailey said lobbying efforts had been made by council to get the NBN up and running in Lithgow sooner but were unsuccessful.

Mr Bailey said the reason for areas close to Lithgow being connected may be due to their proximity to Bathurst.

NBN plans to have its rollout fully completed by 2020.

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