By Claire Reilly

SYDNEY, NSW: Senator Stephen Conroy, the minister responsible for the roll out of the NBN, has today announced the region of Kiama Downs and Minamurra as the second mainland site to be connected to the broadband network.

Speaking about the connection, Senator Conroy said it was a “key milestone” in the ongoing roll out of the NBN across Australia.

“Kiama is the second site on mainland Australia to launch the NBN and will enable trial users to receive a connection to our world class high-speed broadband network,” said Senator Conroy.

“Today marks a significant milestone in the government's vision to deliver affordable, high-speed broadband to every Australian home, business, school, and medical facility.”

“The NBN will enable improvements in the delivery of healthcare services and access to business opportunities,” he said, “[and it] will also enable older Australians to harness the benefits of in-home exercise and rehabilitation programs, such as Neuroscience Research Australia's Fall Prevention Program demonstrated at today’s launch.”

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According to the minister, the new NBN connection will bring Kiama users speeds of up to 100 megabits per second, with potential speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second expect by late next year. In addition, almost 80 per cent of residents in the area had signed up for a free connection to the network he said.

Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan also welcomed the arrival of the NBN in the area, saying it would be great for business.

“Small businesses are already relocating to Kiama to take advantage of the NBN, highlighting that the NBN can promote efficiency, productivity and new opportunities for businesses,” Swan said.

“The NBN will allow businesses, whether they are small, medium and large in rural and regional Australia, to overcome the tyranny of distance by gaining access to national and international markets.

“Australian businesses will be able to operate smarter against their competitors, here and overseas regardless of their size or location – and focus on expanding their markets through the use of applications operated on the NBN by reducing their need for a physical presence.”

Today's announcement follows the roll out of the NBN in Armidale which was conducted in May. Three other sites will be connected in the coming months in Brunswick (VIC), Willunga (SA) and Townsville (QLD).