Minnamurra is a coastal village in the Illawarra region of NSW, about 120km south of Sydney, Last year, Minnamurra and nearby Kiama Downs were chosen as one of five first release sites on the Australian mainland to benefit first from the rollout of the wholesale-only National Broadband Network.
Freelance photographer Paul Gosney and his wife, Sophie Turner, with their two pre-school children, moved to Minnamurra from the North Shore suburb of Lane Cove in April this year. Their new home, just a five-minute stroll from the beach, was connected to the NBN this week.
Paul said the NBN helped to overcome one of his concerns about their family "sea change" to the south coast. "The NBN was one of the reasons that convinced me to come here," he said.
"I decided the NBN meant we weren’t going to be disadvantaged by moving from Sydney and, indeed, it might even give us certain advantages. With 95 per cent of my work still based in Sydney or in places that I get to from an airport, that was an important factor in planning our lifestyle change.
Two factors reassured us. One is that Kiama is just at the end of the freeway, so we have good access to the metro city by road and the other is the NBN, which will provide us with great communication and maybe even give us a competitive edge by letting me easily send files overseas for post-production.
It will also let me deliver larger files electronically to my customers. Often, I’ve delivered images on DVD because average jobs can range in size from as little as 300 megabytes to as large as four gigabytes. While that fits on a DVD, it takes a long time to upload over ADSL. With an NBN service running at 100 megabits per second downstream and 40 up, those files will be delivered in minutes rather than hours."
This week Internode added Minnamurra/Kiama Downs to the list of locations where it is providing NBN-delivered Internet access services. Internode is already actively involved with the NBN in Tasmania, Armidale, NSW, and the South Australian town of Willunga as a Retail Service Provider where it has connected up customers to the fibre-based network.
Located south of Wollongong, Minnamurra and Kiama Downs are among five first release NBN sites on mainland Australia. Other locations are west Armidale, launched in April; Willunga; part of Brunswick in Melbourne; and parts of the Townsville suburbs of Aitkenvale and Mundingburra.
These first release sites were selected to represent various situations the NBN will encounter during its network rollout. Ranging in geography, housing type and density, local infrastructure and other factors, these sites allow NBNCo to test different design and construction techniques in a range of situations.
NBN customer trials at Minnamurra Kiama Downs started this month, with commercial services expected as early as October. Many of the 2250 homes in the area have chosen to connect to the NBN.
Paul Gosney specialises in photographing interiors and portraits while Sophie, also a photographer, is busy expanding her family portrait business Kisschasey to service the area. "I’m also going to look at exploring other opportunities that having the NBN will present us with," said Paul.
"One idea is that I could possibly provide Photoshop training via interactive video presentations. The NBN infrastructure will allow me to do that.
Outside of business, we are quite a high online content family. Our children have grandparents in the UK and Melbourne, so we are always using Skype to talk with them. We use ABC iView all the time and we also use Netflix (a US-based online video rental service) which degrades in quality over a slower ADSL2+ service. We expect that to work much better over the NBN.
I’ve been an Internode customer for 18 months. Although I looked at other providers as part of moving down here, we chose to stay with Internode for a seamless integration with the NBN."