Systems are GO: Senator Stephen Conroy.
Systems are GO: Senator Stephen Conroy.

The National Broadband Network’s fixed wireless service was turned on in Geraldton yesterday, providing fast broadband service to hundreds of homes.

Geraldton is one of the first cities in the country to get NBN service, and is a Federal Government priority and gateway site to northern WA.

Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Senator Stephen Conroy joined Geraldton Mayor Ian Carpenter in throwing the switch of Geraldton’s first NBN connection.

“People living in and around Geraldton can now start connecting to the NBN’s fast, affordable and reliable broadband so they can experience what the NBN has to offer,” Mr Conroy said.

“Two of six NBN fixed wireless sites are now online, providing 354 homes and businesses in Geraldton with broadband speeds of up to 12 Mbps — faster than what many people in Perth experience today.

“Once the NBN’s fixed wireless deployment is complete, about 1300 premises will be covered in Geraldton.”

Geraldton was selected to be a first release site to increase the chances of Australia winning the $2 billion Square Kilometre Array, which paid off, according to Mr Conroy.

Mr Conroy argued that the takeup rate of NBN in Geraldton would mirror the success of other regional towns and cities across the country.

“I think you’ll find, particularly in regional Australia, that their ability to finally get a reliable, affordable, and fast broadband network is something they’re grabbing with both hands,” he said.

“NBN entry level prices are either cheaper or the same as those ADSL prices for a better product — for faster and larger download caps.

“You can join the NBN for $29.95, and what you’ve got to remember is that means that you’re not paying line rental any more. When you start using the NBN you don’t need to add the $33 of line rental any more, that’s gone under the NBN.”

The NBN fibre rollout to 12,700 Geraldton homes began this week.

It is expected that the first fibre services will be available at the start of next year.

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