Internet access

Country people are used to paying higher prices for more limited services than their city cousins.
It’s long been a fact of life that things like petrol cost more and some services such as specialised health care are just unavailable in some towns.
Now, internet access has been added to that list for many Hills residents.
While it’s just over 30 minutes from Adelaide and one of the district’s fastest growing towns, Nairne might as well be in the outback when it comes to new technology.
Many residents and businesses are being forced to pay more than double the usual city rates for limited internet access  because infrastructure growth has lagged behind the town’s expansion.
There is no doubt that demand is there for more ADSL broadband connections, but what locals can’t understand is why telecommunications giant Telstra won’t upgrade its exchange to meet that need.
The answer may lie in the roll-out of the National Broadband Network (NBN), which would replace the ADSL network when it rolls into town.
Telstra wouldn’t comment on whether it was holding off on upgrading the Nairne and Littlehampton connections until the NBN arrives, other than to say it planned to continue to manage the national network and maximise or upgrade assets where possible until the rollout was complete.
But there are no plans for immediate upgrades in either town.
As a major corporation, it is under-standable that Telstra may make a cost-saving decision not to increase ADSL connections if the technology is going to be replaced in the not too distant future.
The NBN expects to start connecting Mt Barker, Nairne, Blakiston and Littlehampton in the next 18 months, but how long it takes for those connections to be widespread is anyone’s guess.
In the meantime, school students need reliable internet to do their homework, while businesses need to maintain an online presence and communicate with customers and suppliers.
So new Nairne business owners and residents are left to pay more for something that is considered a basic necessity for a modern enterprise or lifestyle.