THE national broadband network, or NBN, is coming to Penrith soon. About 25,400 premises across Penrith, South Penrith, Cambridge Park, Jamisontown, Werrington Downs, Kingswood, Cranebrook and Cambridge Gardens should be connected by 2015.
"It's estimated that the average time from work commencing to NBN services being available is 12 months," said an NBN Co spokeswoman, Sarah Barrett.
"When the NBN is switched on progressively in each area, residents and businesses in those areas will be able to contact their telephone or internet service provider to arrange services to be delivered."
Penrith is among the first sites in Australia to get the network's initial rollout, which is planned to connect 93 per cent of Australia within 10 years.
A visiting NBN Co truck provided information to Penrith residents last Tuesday.
An NBN Co spokeswoman, Nichola Parker, said optical fibre (such as pictured top right) would replace copper wire and could convey information at near the speed of light. "With this we can get speeds of 12 megabits a second up to 100 megabits a second," she said.
Ms Parker said the higher the speed, the more expensive the connection would be but it was up to the customer to decide.
"NBN cost is also standardised," she said. "From the Sydney CBD to remote areas, the cost is the same and based only on speed."
Ms Parker also said installing the fibre would not disturb residents because they use Telstra's existing pipes and lines.
The owner of Penrith graphic-arts company White River Design, Debbie O'Connor, was delighted Penrith was among the first to benefit from the NBN. She said businesses needed this if they were going to use communications such as Skype without them dropping out.
Penrith printer Click Media's director, Brendan McKeown, was also enthusiastic. "It'll help us with bringing in large art files — we're restricted at the moment with our download times," he said.
Details: nbn.gov.au and nbnco.com.au.
¦Council's two-hour workshops on its 12-month digital plan. General: July 9, 10am, or July 11, 6pm, the council's Pasadena Room; July 10, 6pm, St Marys Memorial Hall, 29 Swanston Street. Businesses, non-profit organisations, government, health, education: July 9, 6pm, or July 11, 7.30am, council's Pasadena Room; July 10, 7.30am, St Marys Hall, 29 Swanston Street.
Details: 4732 8203.