IT Pro

Video call marks NBN switch on

A video call between Canberra and Japanese students has marked the official switch on of the national broadband network in Gungahlin, ACT.

Gungahlin's Harrison School were the first to use the fibre optic service when it was opened by Communications Minister Stephen Conroy.

The students spoke via an audio-visual link with a class at Chitose Senior High School in Hokkaido, Japan.

Senator Conroy told Japanese students he was excited for Australian school children to become global citizens.

The NBN was essential for creating higher quality learning experiences, he said.

"This is the infrastructure that our nation needs in the 21st century," Senator Conroy said.


"Anything less would shackle our great country to a second rate broadband network, and short-change our children."

The switch-on comes as many complain about the NBN's lengthy completion time, which will replace the country's copper network.

But Senator Conroy said he was proud of NBN Co's work so far.

"I am confident that the company will achieve all of the targets laid out in the corporate plan," he said.

"I'm glad to say that the NBN rollout, despite what you might hear or read, is on track."

NBN construction for the rest of Canberra has commenced or been completed in areas including Civic, Palmerston and Amaroo.

The entire rollout is due for completion in 2015.