DIMBOOLA’S central business district faces one of longest waits for National Broadband Network connections in the Wimmera.
The NBN Company has already made fixed-wireless internet available on the outskirts of Dimboola and surrounding areas, but central Dimboola will have to wait until 2020.
NBN Co’s latest rollout map stated that Dimboola businesses and secondary college might be connected to fibre-to-the-node services between July and December 2020.
The nationwide project to improve internet speeds has a final deadline of 2020.
Horsham and Donald’s fibre-to-the-node rollout has already started and Warracknabeal has a nominal start date of January to March next year.
However, Dimboola is likely to be in a better long-term position than many other towns in the Wimmera that will not receive fibre-to-the-node at all.
Some residents in Dimboola’s outer areas expected to receive fibre-to-the-node services but were disappointed to be put on fixed wireless in the latest rollout update earlier this year.
Mary Clarke, of Dimboola’s Mason Clarke Preserving Co, said the long wait for better internet connections in town had interfered with some of her businesses operations.
“The slow speed we have now is totally frustrating,” she said.
“I’m studying a course through Deakin University and some of the files you have to download are very large.
“The slow speed also affects some of my communications.”
Hindmarsh Shire Mayor Debra Nelson said she was concerned about the long wait for NBN in Dimboola and the lack of mobile internet for farmers.
“It would be a great benefit to the town and I think they’ve certainly had some challenges but I was under the impression that we would get NBN before then,” she said.
“It would help to attract businesses.”
Fibre-to-the-node NBN connections involve running fibre optic cables to metal cabinets in the street and then use existing copper phone lines to connect individual homes and businesses.
The new connections can be four times faster than the best services currently available.
Fixed wireless connections use mobile phone-style towers to supply internet via rooftop antennas and can also be four times the speed of the best fixed line services currently available, depending on conditions.