Parkes is among the most connected regions in the country, with almost all properties now able to connect to the National Broadband Network.
NBN Co Limited spokeswoman for NSW Marcela Balart was in Bathurst on Monday to announce the nationwide roll out had now reached the halfway point.
But she was proud to report the job was done in Parkes, where 5100 homes and businesses – including 490 in Peak Hill – can now connect to the network.
According to information on the NBN tracker map on Tuesday, there are three small pockets identified as ‘build commenced’.
One pocket includes all of Vaucluse Place, George Field Drive and Porter Street, and sections of Park Street, Fisher Street, John Curtin Street, Medlyn Street, Lee Street, Woodward Street and East Street.
The second pocket encompasses all of Ken Payne Place, Werona Place, Harwood Street, Pioneer Street, Hazelbank Avenue and Avoca Place, and parts of the Newell Highway (near Bushman’s Dam and past the Parkes Visitor Information Centre), Phoenix Street, Coleman Street, Thomas Street, Webb Street, Charles Rigg Avenue, Harris Street and Seaborn Street.
The third pocket includes parts of Renshaw McGirr Way and Danilenko Street.
Ms Balart said Parkes’ installation of NBN infrastructure had been completed in February this year and there are an additional 745 premises on the outskirts of Parkes that are able to connect to the NBN network through fixed wireless technology, as well as a number of others via the Sky Muster satellite service.
“There are a small number of premises which do require additional works before they can order a service, however, the majority of the Parkes region can connect to the NBN network,” she said.
According to Ms Balart, this puts residents and business owners in an enviable position in terms of their NBN access.
“The Central West is at the forefront of the first nationwide upgrade of its kind to Australia’s telecommunications in more than 100 years,” she said.
“Three-in-four people in the Central West can now get NBN, it’s one-in-two nationally.
“The regions outside metro areas were a focus. We were mandated by government to focus on areas that were under-serviced.”
Ms Balart said there were a few misconceptions about getting connected to the NBN and the most common was who people need to contact to get switched on.
“You have to go to your retailer to hook up. The switch is not automatic, you [need to] contact your retail provider to get an NBN plan,” she said.
“People need to do their homework now that we have a choice of speeds.
“They need to know how they use it [the Internet] and the number of devices [in their property].”
Ms Balart said the best thing for people to do is jump on the NBN website (www.nbnco.com.au) and use the Check Your Address function which allows people to find out when the NBN network will be available at their premise.
“If not yet available, they can register their email to be notified when they’ll be able to contact their preferred retailer to order an NBN service,” she said.
Construction is now underway in Forbes, Bathurst, Oberon, Raglan and White Rock, with 90 per cent of homes and businesses in the Central West expected to be able to connect to the NBN network through a retail service provider by the end of the year.