First it was Armidale, now it is Kiama

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NBN switched on in Kiama, NSW | The Australian

My comments

This deployment of the National Broadband Network has become the second mainland location for this technology. The first mainland location to have the next-generation Internet was Armidale in NSW.

Kiama is primarily a tourist-attraction country town which attracts many day-trip tourists from Sydney. This then feeds a hospitality-driven economy centred around cafes and restaurants. Other than that, it doesn’t necessarily have a key employer like a corporation or university that could create a significant economy.

Of course, it is worth finding out which areas of these towns are actually wired up for the broadband service, especially if these towns are growing out or becoming major economic centres in their own right, as in the case of Armidale which has the University of New England as a key employer. Here, it could be feasible for certain suburbs or neighbourhoods to have the optical fibre pass every door, rather than the whole town. This is a practice that I have noticed with Australian pay-TV where certain communities had Foxtel cable pass their door while others didn’t.

It is also worth knowing, when one or two towns are established with the technology, it could then allow for infrastructure to be deployed out to neighbouring towns as it is built out, especially if “highway” runs are being constructed and “lit up” in order to connect major economic centres. This may also incite more key employers to set up shop in these towns thus creating an increase in the economy there.

Cynics would describe this effort as being political due to the towns being in marginal electorates and the provision of the National Broadband Network as a vote-catching exercise by the Australian Labor Party. But who knows how this could change if the NBN does change the economies in these towns such as through attraction of new employers.

It will therefore be interesting to see what comes about with the arrival of the NBN through the different towns and whether the fibre-to-the-home next-generation broadband would be a proper winner.

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