On Tuesday 11th November NBN Co held an information session for local residents in the Bindoon Hall. I managed to squeeze in a 10 minute visit and spoke with the representatives who explained where things are at with getting the NBN to Bindoon. For those who may not be aware, the NBN is the National Broadband Network. Primarily this is meant to provide broadband to all Australians around the country, including those in regional areas. NBN Co is the company that is rolling out the network. In order to reach all potential customers, they are using a variety of technologies. The fastest and preferred medium is fibre optic cabling. This is being rolled out to high density areas, mainly in metropolitan suburbs and new estates. For other areas there is a mixture of technologies, including the use of existing copper wiring, fixed wireless and satellite services. For Bindoon, NBN Co are rolling out fixed wireless. This is the same technology that is used for mobile broadband, except there will be a fixed antenna on premise to ensure a solid connection to the network. The NBN will bring 4G to the area, which is significantly faster than the current 3G mobile broadband speeds. NBN Co will be achieving this by installing a tower in Bindoon that will link up with Gingin and Lower Chittering. NBN equipment is still to be rolled out to these towers which will be co-located on the existing Telstra or Optus towers. A new tower is required in Bindoon as the existing Telstra and Optus towers do not meet the line-of-sight requirements for the connection between these areas. The currently proposed site for the Bindoon tower is the Bell Hill reserve on the corner of Ridgetop Ramble and Forrest Hills Parade. In my opinion this is an ideal site as it is on Shire leased land and will ensure good coverage around the area. The next stage before work can commence is for the site to be approved by Council and if all goes smoothly, NBN could be available in Bindoon in the first half of next year. Understandably, NBN Co is not prepared to give a firm date as there may be delays if Council does not approve the site and if Gingin and Lower Chittering are not provisioned in time.
One thing to remember is that NBN Co are the wholesalers of the network and retail plans are sold through existing ISPs. NBN Co advised me that competitive plans will be available and can provide cheaper and faster mobile broadband than is currently available in the area. So this is good news for local residents. I urge you to keep an eye on the approval required through the Council and ensure that NBN comes to town sooner rather than later. For more information regarding available plans and details of the rollout, go to the NBN website at nbnco.com.au.