HOMES in a number of towns across the Wimmera will receive faster internet by mid to late 2014, except in West Wimmera Shire.
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NBN Co named municipalities on Wednesday where planning stages for a fixed-wireless network were underway as part of the National Broadband Network.

They included Ararat and Horsham rural cities and Buloke, Hindmarsh, Northern Grampians, Southern Grampians and Yarriambiack shires.

Currently NBN Co is working with councils to find appropriate locations for fixed-wireless towers.

NBN Co community relations adviser Tony Gibbs said the network’s speed would be 12 mega-bites a second, with the potential for it to increase in the future.

Mr Gibbs said fixed-wireless in West Wimmera and the satellite network would be available by the end of 2015.

“West Wimmera has had to wait, because it is part of another region we are rolling out later,” he said.

West Wimmera Shire Mayor Eveline van Breugel said the municipality had not been snubbed it just had to wait longer than the rest of the region for the technology.

“Roll-out is something that is managed in stages,” she said.

“I’m very excited about the NBN. It will provide huge opportunities for the region.”

Other council representatives also said they were excited about the news.

Hindmarsh Shire Council chief executive Dean Miller and Northern Grampians Mayor Dorothy Patton said the network would benefit the region in many ways.

Mr Miller said plans were underway to build towers at Jeparit and Rainbow.

“We are still disappointed Dimboola and Nhill missed out on the latest announced fibre roll-out, but the network will give a huge boost to the heath and education sectors,” he said.

“There’s going to be a whole world of opportunities for children able to use fast internet at schools.

“As our shire gets older it will be important having fast enough internet for online diagnosis and other health services.”

Cr Patton said the shire’s communities and businesses were eager to see fixed-wireless infrastructure put in place.

“There are plenty of businesses in the shire actively using digital technology,” she said.

“These businesses will greatly benefit from faster, more efficient broadband able to improve productivity and growth.”

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