Today marks the beginning of a new chapter for many of the residents of Gungahlin and at the same time, closes a chapter in my life. With great fanfare Senator Conroy, Senator Lundy and Mike Quigley officially turned of the NBN in the ACT today, 1st Feburary 2013.
Also in attendance was Andrew Leigh MP, Andrew Barr representing the MLA, Japan’s Diplomat to Australia, Peter Elford and others from the Gungahlin Community council. Representitives from the contractors performing the cabling were on hand as well as from the ANU and many other industry representatives. The event was held in the Gungahlin Library to a packed house and filled with media.
The event was opened by Peter Elford from the GCC and a traditional welcome from an elder of the Ngunnawal people was given. At this point a Big Red Button became the focus as a number of VIP’s officially “switched on” the NBN. As part of this ceremonial gesture Paige Murry, a student from Harrison Public school was given the honor of standing beside the politicians and NBN representatives during the big button press.
A live demonstration of the NBN capability commenced with a live high definition video conference session setup between a group of Harrison School students and students in a classroom in Japan. The demonstration went without a hitch and saw Harrison Students speaking Japanese and students in Japan speaking back in English. Although many of the students on both sides were obviously nervous the demonstration showed the possibilities of greater learning experiences which are definitely not possible with the existing telecommunications services in the area.
Speeches were made and people were thanked but there was a number things said that I wanted to convey to the rest of the ACT.
The NBN Co. wants everyone to know;
- Gungahlin roll-out is on track with hundreds of houses and businesses connected to the NBN in Gungahlin already.
- The NBN is still on track to deliver the NBN to all the ACT over the next three years.
- The NBN has already started works in Civic.
Senator Stephen Conroy wants people to be aware of the additional information and services available at the Gungahlin Library. A Digital Hub has been set up to show case what the NBN can deliver to Australians and provide education and promote greater online participation. Information on the Digital Hub can be found here and is worth a visit.
I wanted to thank a few people for their support over the last 4 years. I would like to thank the residents of Gungahlin for maintaining their interest in this issue and resisting the piecemeal approach providers have taken in this area. I would like to thank the Gungahlin Community Council for running with the issue for so long and being the interface between the NBN and the community. I would like to thank various members of the NBN Co. who sent representatives to my house to discuss the issues in the area. Finally I would like to thank Senator Kate Lundy who has been dealing with phone and broadband issues in Gungahlin for the longest time. Senator Lundy took time to meet with me and listen to my view, she represented our concerns to the NBN Co and Senator Conroy and was a great advocate for our area. Regardless of your feelings about politics in general, any representative who listens, supports and represents you should be acknowledged. Thank you Kate Lundy
So, with the NBN now “Live” in Gungahlin and the cable contractor pulling green fibre cabling through conduits only 100 meters from my house, this campaign looks to be at an end. We as a community have succeeded in bringing change. From my perspective this is a major victory and one I was proud to be a part of.
Thank you to everyone who has provided me or the cause support over the past 4 years and remember to SIGN UP.