Bingara community urged to lobby for NBN

May 10, 2013

More than 30 people attended last week’s Vision 2020 Dinner Meeting where the National Broadband Network (NBN) was discussed.

Guest speakers, Alun Davies and David Jones, who headed the New England NBN Workgroup that lobbied to bring the NBN to Armidale, made a detailed presentation to the meeting, explaining how the NBN will work and who will benefit most from the roll out.

The gathering was told that by 2015, there will be three different levels of communication for regional Australia, including Bingara.

The first and fastest will be “fibre to the home” which will provide one gigabit of data capacity. For those living within 15 kilometers of town, NBN wireless will be available. For those further out, satellite will be the communication service on offer, providing ample download and upload capacity for most businesses, according to Mr Davies.

Mr Davies said that over the 20 year period it will take to complete the establishment of the network, thousands of kilometers of copper wiring will be replaced with optical fibre.

Mr Davies also talked about the potential to use new technologies becoming available due to the increased internet speeds associated with the NBN, instancing “Smart” farms.

He said that monitoring technology is currently available that provides the opportunity to check on water troughs, stock, pasture, gates and soil moisture levels which has the potential to increase food production by 40% and water efficiency by 20%, he asserted.

In a departure from the detail of the NBN, Mr Davies stated that he believed the future health of North West NSW lies in developing unique cottage industries, high tech education, the attractive lifestyle and tourism. He was extremely complimentary about Vision 2020’s inspiration to establish the learning centre on the Common, congratulating the Bingara community for embracing the concept. “I don’t need to tell you people here tonight how to adapt for the future. You are out there doing it,” he said.

Mr Davies did make the observation that if Bingara wants to be at the forefront of the communication upgrade, the community needs to actively seek inclusion in the NBN as a matter of urgency.

The dinner, which was sponsored by Community Mutual, was prepared by Vio of the Roxy Café and served upstairs at the Roxy.