WA’s con­nected res­i­dents de­lay NBN ac­ti­va­tion

Pilbara News - - News - Nick Sas and Ali­cia Per­era

While most of the Pil­bara is still wait­ing to be con­nected to the NBN, of the more than 64,000 West Aus­tralian homes al­ready con­nected, less than half of those have taken up the of­fer.

End-of-year fig­ures pro­vided by the Government-run NBN showed there had been sig­nif­i­cant growth in the num­ber of West Aus­tralians con­nected over the past 12 months, with the NBN con­nect­ing 38,430 homes dur­ing 2015. But of the 135,700 homes where the NBN is avail­able in WA since the roll­out be­gan, only 64,550 have ac­ti­vated the ser­vice.

NBN Co. aims to con­nect about 49 per cent of homes — with a long-term goal of 73 per cent — and though the WA con­nec­tiv­ity rate of 47 per cent is below av­er­age, it is not as bad as South Aus­tralia’s where only 39 per cent of homes ac­tu­ally con­nect to the ser­vice.

This year is set to be an in­te­gral year for the NBN, Aus­tralia’s big­gest in­fra­struc­ture project. The speed of the roll­out is about to ac­cel­er­ate af­ter years of de­lays.

In the Pil­bara, the NBN had so far only been rolled out on a small scale in new de­vel­op­ments such as Pe­lago East and the Gap Ridge In­dus­trial Area, where take-up rates are pre­dictably high.

But NBN Co. WA cor­po­rate af­fairs man­ager Philippa Perry said from the last quar­ter of this year, when the net­work is brought to ex­ist­ing homes and busi­nesses here, she would en­cour­age res­i­dents to ac­ti­vate the ser­vice as soon as pos­si­ble.

“NBN is im­por­tant in the re­gions be­cause many re­gions have felt left be­hind when it comes to con­nec­tiv­ity and fast broad­band,” she said.

“This will pro­vide a mul­ti­tude of op­por­tu­ni­ties for peo­ple in re­gional ar­eas in terms of busi­ness, e-Health, and ev­ery­day ac­tiv­i­ties like email.”

Ms Perry said the com­pany was “very com­fort­able” with the NBN ac­ti­va­tion rate in WA so far given its tar­get fig­ures.

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