Federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has described the number of Kiama residents who have made the switch to the National Broadband Network as"truly impressive".
Senator Conroy used his speech at the Regional Development Australia leaders' summit in Wollongong yesterday to confirm recent NBN figures showing 44 per cent of eligible households in Kiama had made the switch to the faster network.
The rate is almost double the uptake announced in February.
Sen Conroy said he was delighted with the results, particularly given that the NBN implementation study required only a 12 per cent take-up rate per year for the network to be viable.
"This is a region that has embraced broadband under the leadership of its council, its university and the RDA," he said.
"I'm delighted to say that you have embraced NBN more than any other region in the country."
Sen Conroy believed the take-up figures reflected the determination of Illawarra residents to "take charge of your own future".
"The region is moving beyond its traditional economic base, beyond coal, into the digital economy," he said.
"Diversification requires innovation, and not just innovation by individual businesses and enterprise, but cultural innovation as well."
Sen Conroy said ministers regularly conducted meetings via NBN-supported video conferencing.