Gillard Launches the Armidale NBN

by Jane Humphries

The National Broadband Network reached an important milestone this week as the first customers on mainland Australia were ‘switched on’ at an official ceremony in Armidale, NSW. It was attended by all the important people – Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Stephen Conroy and, of course, the team from iiNet.

The Armidale air was chilly but full of excitement when we arrived.  Not only was the Prime Minister coming to town but the rural centre was to be the first to experience the NBN.

The big event, held at Presbyterian Ladies College, was abuzz with school students, teachers, local councilors, NBN trial customers and local residents. iiNet was one of four retail service providers to showcase their brand, products and services to the Prime Minister and people of Armidale.

The PM was particularly keen to hear how our customer, Peter Erskine (who joined the event online over his NBN connection), has experienced improved productivity when working from home. Peter, who is a Research Assistant, said the significant improvement of speeds has made it much easier to search and download large files.

“Meeting with colleagues online is far more reliable and of a much higher quality than before. Remote and regional areas will really benefit from the NBN roll out,” Peter said.

Our other NBN trial customer, Byron Miles, a Computer Science student at the University of New England,  is loving his new speed and download capabilities.

“What used to take an hour to download now takes less than a minute. I wish the NBN was built ten years ago,” Byron said.

All it all, it was a big day for the telecommunications industry, a big day for Armidale and a big day for iiNet.

We are looking forward to the future of broadband in Australia as the NBN rolls into more and more communities around the country. There’s a lot to love about a network that bridges the gap between the city and the country, connects people with the rest of the world and makes things happen…fast.