NBN access for 8000 Manning properties

Happy NBN consumer, Barry Schlenker with NBN Co's Darren Rudd, economic development officer Steve Attkins and  mayor Paul Hogan at Tuesday's announcement.

Happy NBN consumer, Barry Schlenker with NBN Co's Darren Rudd, economic development officer Steve Attkins and mayor Paul Hogan at Tuesday's announcement.

IT's the announcement which will be so essential in catering for 21st century life in the Manning Valley.

Members of Greater Taree City Council and representatives of the NBN Co gathered on Tuesday (August 26) at council chambers to announce that more than 8000 additional farms, homes and businesses throughout Taree will now be able to switch to the National Broadband Network (NBN).

The vital announcement for Taree and the surrounding area builds on the NBN's rollout across the NSW Mid North Coast which has brought the State total to 72,600 residents and businesses already connected to the network.

The arrival of the NBN has certainly brought a smile to the face of Barry Schlenker.

The Cedar Party resident now enjoys the benefits of high speed internet access as well as a substantially less monthly phone bill.

The retired school teacher now spends his spare time surfing the 'net at a much quicker pace than before, which he said was a far cry from his former days of internet use.

"The satellite speeds were terrible but now it's very fast, when you click on a website - boom, it's there," he said.

"We've been connected since the end of June and we've saved about 40 per cent on previous costs such as our phone bill.

"And there were a lot of variables with satellite as there was always equipment failures."

But the days of slow speed, expensive phone bills and faulty lines were now things in the past for Mr Schlenker.

"With the NBN we're now able to Skype with family and friends as well as do the basics that everyone these days takes for granted like online banking," he said.

Greater Taree City Council mayor Paul Hogan said the arrival of NBN would help residents to realise the exciting possibilities of high speed internet.

"The full potential of the internet is the main message we have to get out," he said.

"By connecting to the NBN, Taree residents are now able to realise the full potential of the internet something that's taken for granted in the major cities,"

"And there's less cost, as all the people I've spoken to who have connected have saved 30 to 40 per cent off their phone bill.

"There's an economic benefit as well, as it will also help local businesses maximise the tourism potential of the Manning Valley region.

"By businesses offering free wi-fi to customers, it's more than likely holiday makers will stay longer and promote the region through social networking."

Manning Valley Business Chamber economic development manager Steve Attkins also said the region would benefit economically from the introduction of the NBN.

"It saves local businesses time and money on working with their website, giving them the opportunity to compete with metro areas," he said.

"The Manning Valley has been socio-economically disadvantaged for years, however this will improve as fast broadband over the NBN provides a fresh opportunity to attract new people and businesses particularly metropolitan companies looking to save costs by relocating to a regional area."

Tuesday's announcement also starts the official countdown for residents and businesses in parts of the Taree town centre to switch to the NBN before their current phone and internet services are retired.

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