NBN no benefit to some residents

MORE than half of the Southern Downs would not benefit from the National Broadband Network (NBN) Councillor Neil Meiklejohn has said.

He said with the bulk of the population in townships of less than 1000, only the 5000 people in Stanthorpe, 10,000 in Warwick and 1000 in Allora would have access.

“Even then you may not get the people on the fringes of Warwick and certain areas of Stanthorpe,” he said.

But Cr Meiklejohn said it would still be worthwhile for council to team up with the Regional Development Association (RDA) by investing $5000 taxpayer dollars and to try to prepare for the roll out.

RDA Darling Downs executive assistant Bryan Gray said the partnership would not get the NBN here any sooner but meant the area would be prepared when NBN Co – the company in charge of rolling out the network – did get to the Southern Downs and would help secure RDA funds.

“There’s money available from the Department for Regions to get the regions ready,” he said.

“We asked for expressions of interest from councils for putting money towards mapping potential infrastructure so when we go to the RDA (to try to get some of that money) we have a stronger argument.”

Cr Neil Meiklejohn said it was likely the council would participate in the RDA scheme to try to become “NBN ready”.

In response to Cr Meiklejohn’s concerns a spokesman for the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Stephen Conroy said no one would miss out on the NBN.

“The government is committed to delivering affordable, high-speed broadband to 100 per cent of Australian premises in the SDRC area,” he said.



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