WA’s connected residents delay NBN activation
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.