Hopes have been raised Illawarra internet connections won't cut out when there's heavy rain as the rollout of Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) gathers pace in the region.
Some northern suburbs streets were last week receiving upgrades to the transmission pits on road verges, which will lead to the full-service National Broadband Network as originally devised.
Some internet customers in Austinmer experienced several service interruptions during heavy rain last weekend, understood to be because the copper wire doesn't handle well water flowing into the pits.
The northern suburbs will soon be added to the about 10,000 Illawarra homes and businesses eligible to upgrade to a full fibre connection, NBN Co said. Those already able included parts of Albion Park, Blackbutt, Oak Flats, Croom, Haywards Bay, Tullimbar and Yallah.
"We expect about around 24,000 premises across the local government areas of Kiama, Wollongong and Shellharbour to be able to upgrade between now and the end of 2025, an NBN Co spokesman said.
"A full fibre connection in NBN's fastest and most reliable residential connection and can support the increase in data demand we are seeing across Australian households and businesses.
"We encourage people in the area to go to the NBN website to check their address to see if they can order an upgrade now through a participating retail provider, or register for updates about when it may become available to them."
There was less risk of damage from weather when the fibre extended to the premises.
"Adverse weather can impact broadband services and interfere with signals and speeds," the spokesman said.
"Benefits of a full fibre NBN connection via an upgrade to FTTP include faster and more reliable internet, lower latency (faster response and less lag) and lower risk of physical and environment damage."
There wouldn't be a charge from NBN Co for the FTTP connection but it would require an upgrade to a "Home Fast" plan, and pricing would be determined by the internet service provider.
The Coalition government with Malcolm Turnbull as communications spokesman dumped the plan for FTTP - where fibre optic cable would connect all the way to houses - and instead built a network of Fibre to the Node (FTTN).
This cheaper option delivered the faster speed connection to "nodes" near commercial or population centres and then relied on the old copper wire network to connect to houses - causing lower speeds.
One of the first times Mr Turnbull revealed this plan for a two-tiered network was to the Illawarra Mercury at a 2011 backyard barbecue at the Barrack Heights home of then Liberal party activist Kellie Marsh.
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