Fast internet to hit Colac in early 2016

135152034ACOLAC district businesses could benefit from a national wireless internet rollout within 18 months, a business leader says.

Otway Business Inc president Chris Smith said the national Broadband Network’s proposed installations in Colac and elsewhere in the district could help business development.

“The opportunity, as everyone is aware of, that can come about and assist business is quite vital,” Mr Smith said of the NBN rollout.

“Especially if we can get more coverage into the Otways, as it allows people to run a business from home,” he said.

“As many people as possible that can have NBN connection, the better.”

Colac, Colac East and Elliminyt are set to have access to a fixed wireless network starting from February 2016, with connection available to up to 4200 premises.

An NBN Co spokesman said Colac and district’s rollout of the Australia-wide project to upgrade the existing fixed-line phone and internet network infrastructure would involve installing panels and antennas on existing communication towers where possible.

“When it is switched on people are able to sign up to NBN, people go onto the website where there is an online map tool,” he said.

“You put your address in and it tells you if your house or business is in the footprint within the coverage area.”

The spokesman said business owners and residents would have to select a service provider and make a request for the NBN.

“When they put in their request we install an antenna on their roof and a box on an inside wall in their house where they can put a router to have wireless internet throughout their house,” he said.

“As need increases, the bandwidth and the capacity can scale up to meet people’s requirements.”

The spokesman said fixed wireless was different to mobile phone towers and would avoid slow service due to congested demand because fixed wireless was designed to service a set number of premises.

Colac Otway Shire will have 10 towers by mid-2016, including installations at Apollo Bay, Marengo and Skenes Creek which would allow up to 2200 additional households and businesses to access the NBN.

Two thousand premises at Lorne could have NBN access by April 2016.

Planning is underway for fixed-wireless NBN connection at Alvie, Beeac, Beech Forest, Cororooke, Cressy East, Forrest, Gellibrand, Swan Marsh, Warncoort and Barongarook.

NBN Co predicts a more reliable service than mobile broadband, with download speeds of 25 megabits per second and uploads of 5 megabits per second.

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