How NBN is chang­ing across the dis­trict

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Jack Lawrie jack.lawrie@cnbtimes.com.au

FOR those liv­ing out in the re­gional ar­eas of the North Bur­nett, on the out­skirts of the six towns, com­mu­ni­ca­tion has changed things rad­i­cally.

Lex Dow in Monto re­mem­bers us­ing dial-up in­ter­net up un­til just a few years ago.

“We were on land­line with a hook-up to the tele­phone, so if you were on the phone, you couldn’t use the com­puter,” he said.

“That only lasted for 12 months or so when we got the com­puter, it was just use­less.”

That was be­fore he had satel­lite in­ter­net in­stalled in his home which has now been up­graded to the Na­tional Broad­band Net­work’s Sky Muster ser­vice.

Sky Muster is NBN’s satel­lite ser­vice, which launched last year.

The ser­vice aims to pro­vide down­load speeds up to 25mbps for ar­eas of re­gional and re­mote Aus­tralia.

Prop­er­ties that can­not be ser­viced by the NBN’s fixed wire­less or fixed line ser­vice are el­i­gi­ble for the satel­lite ser­vice. Lex doesn’t con­sider him­self in­ter­net-savvy, he doesn’t have any so­cial me­dia ac­counts and he mainly uses it for email and or­der­ing ma­chin­ery for the farm.

How­ever, as chair­man of the Monto Grains Co­op­er­a­tive, be­ing able to

Mainly the emails are for keep­ing in touch with fam­ily and friends; in­stead of writ­ing let­ters now, we send emails. — Lex Dow

com­mu­ni­cate with peo­ple around the area and com­pa­nies to do busi­ness with is cru­cial.

“Mainly the emails are for keep­ing in touch with fam­ily and friends; in­stead of writ­ing let­ters now, we send emails,” he said.

“But I’ve got to have that to keep in touch with the grains of­fice.”

Lex and his wife An­gela re­tired a while back and handed con­trol of the farm over to their son, Martin.

But even at the ripe old age of 81, he still gets on the trac­tor to help out on the fields from time to time.

“Truth­fully, I’m not do­ing a lot of busi­ness on the com­puter my­self; Martin does most of that,” he said.

The tran­si­tion hasn’t been per­fect; the ser­vice has had reg­u­lar down­time for main­te­nance.

“I’ve had a cou­ple of emails, I think the next is on the 21st of Fe­bru­ary it’s go­ing to be down while they’re hook­ing things up to the satel­lite,” Lex said.

PHOTO: JACK LAWRIE

CON­NEC­TION: Fixed satel­lite in­ter­net al­lows Lex Dow to con­nect with his friends and get up­dates from the Grain Co.

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