How NBN is changing across the district
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.
CONNECTION: Fixed satellite internet allows Lex Dow to connect with his friends and get updates from the Grain Co.