NBN update: Rollout on track

Countryman

People in the most remote areas of Australia can expect an NBN service on par with skyscrapers in the nation's biggest cities.

"Every single farm premise in Australia will receive a high-speed connection," says Joe Dennis, of stakeholder relations at NBNCo.

"By and large in the regional areas that's going to be the fixed wireless and the new long-term satellites delivering at 25mbps which is faster than, or equal to, the fastest speeds that you can get in any city in Australia."

Mr Dennis says the rollout is progressing well, with the fibre optic cable now passing some 150,000 premises.

Map: When will you get NBN?

Two new satellites are expected to be launched in 2015.

With the fibre build not due for completion until 2021, the satellite service is expected to deliver high-speed connections to country areas up to six years earlier than for city residents.

Once complete, the NBN project would have retrofitted 13 million premises in Australia.

Mr Dennis says the digital age is an exciting time for regional areas.

"Australian agriculture has always been leading the way in the uptake of new technologies," he says.

"Ten years ago, it was GPS in tractors and headers. The next 10 years we're going to see an enormous amount of technology come on to farms in the form of soil sensors and basically collating data to enable farmers to make more scientific based decisions, whether that's fertiliser application or the eating habits of their cattle."

NBNCo is working with the CSIRO and University of New England on the Kirby smart farm project near Armidale, NSW.

The 280ha property is one of Australia's first NBN farms, using a fixed wireless connection, and is a centre for developing sustainable, manageable and accessible rural technology.

"They've been been a bit of a test bed for all these different types of next-generation technologies, springboarding from their high-speed connection on the NBN back to the university itself and then to wider Australia," Mr Dennis says.

Watch the full Digital Farm TV video interview:

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