With almost 6,000 locals, Goondiwindi seems to have become the home of National Broadband Network (NBN) challengers with one business now claiming the spot as the first locally-owned fixed wireless internet service provider (ISP).
Country Broadband Network (CBN) is the result of a project of telecommunications provider Goondiwindi Communications, established in 1985. Goondiwindi Communications provides internet connection usually through Telstra, Optus or Vodafone 3G, 4G and 4GX solutions.
CBN was registered in February 2018 installing the first services in early April. According to the company director Trent Murray, CBN is the next logical step to improve connectivity for its existing and new customers.
With two directors, CBN is supported by Goondiwindi Communications' contractors and carrier partner Channel Wireless.
The way the businesses work is Goondiwindi Communications handles the local contact, support and installation via CBN's retail store and four service vehicles. The technology works by a fibre connection that then gets delivered via wireless hardware to the homes and businesses.
CBN claims 40 connected services, which, according to director Trent Murray, rises daily with a mix of business and residential connections.
"Local businesses have been the biggest take up of this technology due to the inherent poor ADSL speeds," Murray told ARN.
As previously reported by ARN, Melbourne-based internet service provider (ISP) Binary Networks has started, also in April, to provide fixed wireless broadband services to Goondiwindi.
Both pointed out the difficulties experienced by locals when fixed-wireless provider Red Wifi was wound up in March 2017.
CBN's Murray told ARN they were trying to work with Red Wifi in order to provide continuity of connections while migrating onto CBN's new network.
"Unfortunately there was a major hardware failure on their behalf and they were not willing to repair. This is the moment we ordered our new fibre service instead of migrating. Our service went live at the start of April with the first connections going in immediately," Murray explained.
"Goondiwindi Communications bridged the gap in the fail over from the Red WiFi system by providing phone support and options for customers to get reconnected with a pre-paid service on mobile broadband until the Country Broadband Network was ready to connect," Murray told ARN.
In order to service Goondiwindi rural area, CBN operates from five towers in and around Goondiwindi. CBN's longest connection from town currently is approximately 13km but this is increasing weekly as new sites come on line.
"Our customers deserve local contact from a company that supports the local community. We look forward to extending our network at a rapid rate to be sure we can supply quality connections to our customers over a wide area," Murray added.