The Government has announced the first five sites that will receive high speed broadband on mainland Australia as part of the National Broadband Network (NBN).

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According to Senator Conroy, the test sites are the following: A part of the suburb of Brunswick in Melbourne; an area of Townsville covering parts of the suburbs of Aitkenvale and Mundingburra; the coastal communities of Minnamurra and Kiama Downs south of Wollongong; an area of west Armidale, NSW, including the University of New England; and the rural town of Willunga in South Australia.

He said that the first release sites would be used to test the network’s design and construction methods and would provide crucial information to assist in the roll out of the NBN.

“Today’s announcement is another important milestone in the delivery of this historic infrastructure project for Australia. NBN Co has chosen the first release sites based on a range of criteria such as demographics, climate, existing infrastructure and terrain, to ensure the physical roll out of the NBN is as smooth as possible,” said Senator Conroy.

“NBN Co will be using the first sites to test different construction techniques to suit different geographical regions across Australia. It follows comprehensive testing in its integration labs,” he added.

Senator Conroy said the NBN would deliver high-speed broadband to every premises in Australia, no matter where it was located, and it was essential that the roll-out was planned thoroughly.

Following the design phase, actual construction work on the test sites will be delivered in a staged roll out beginning in the second half of this year.

NBN Co will consult with the communities about its plans during the design phase. It is expected that these communities will be able to receive high-speed broadband services following the completion of construction early next year.

For more information on the first release sites, including maps, visit: www.nbnco.com.au

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