Gungahlin NBN work under way in October
Canberra's long wait for high-speed internet delivered by the National Broadband Network will end today.
The Gillard Government will announce that work on the optical fibre to the home network will begin in Gungahlin in October.
NBN Co says after the first 3000 homes are connected, the network will fan out until all of Canberra is connected.
All premises in Gungahlin are expected to be connected by the end of next year.
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy says work will begin in nine second-release sites, including Gungahlin, covering 50,000 premises.
"This is exciting news and is further evidence that NBN is well and truly a reality that is rolling out quickly across Australia," he said.
"These nine sites represent more than 50,000 premises that will be connected with fibre optic cable that will deliver high-speed broadband to every home, business and institution that wants it.
"Already communities in first-release sites of Armidale and Minnamurra-Kiama Downs have been connected to the NBN.
"The announcement of these new sites demonstrates that momentum is building as the network is rolled out to every home, business, school and hospital in Australia."
It is estimated that the average time from the start of on-site works in the second-release sites to the activation of first services will be about 12 months.
Senator Conroys announcement will be made just hours before Opposition communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull addresses the National Press Club with a critique of the NBN.
ACT Labor senator Kate Lundy said the announcement was fantastic news for Gungahlin residents.
"Even better is that NBN have indicated that once the build starts in Gungahlin it will continue," she said. "It's great to have the build starting here knowing it will continue through the years and ACT residents will progressively have high-speed universal broadband."
Peter Elford, vice-president of the Gungahlin Community Council, said the announcement was tremendous news.
"We were told at a briefing by the NBN Co last month that work would begin in six to eight weeks and that Gungahlin would be substantially NBN-enabled by about Christmas 2012," he said. "We are pleased that it was clearly stated that the work is not going to stop at 3000 homes."
Two weeks ago Internode became the first ISP to reveal retail prices for internet and phone services delivered via the National Broadband Network. Prices range from $60 to $190 a month.
Customers will have to buy a bundled package that includes both home phone and internet access. The monthly cost includes line rental.