NBN Co received a 9 per cent surge in homeowners opting to have their homes connected to the National Broadband Network (NBN) in the first mainland roll-out site of Kiama following the 2010 Federal Election.
NBN Co's local construction manager Lance Parkes told ZDNet Australia during a tour of the site last month that many residents were reluctant to opt into the NBN while the outcome of the election was unknown, but said that after the Labor Party formed a minority government, the orders came flooding in. According to Parkes, 66 per cent of residents had opted in prior to the election but this was boosted to 75 per cent afterwards.
NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley had announced an extension to the deadline for residents to opt in after the election because of those who had held back to wait out the uncertainty.
As of December 2010, 1764 homes out of a total of 2343 at the site had signed up to have the fibre connected to their homes.
Parkes said that residents had generally been welcoming of the construction in the area, despite Kiama being a "blue ribbon" Liberal seat.
Kiama resides in the Gilmore electorate, held by Liberal member Joanna Gash since 1996. Gash used the last day of parliament last year to take a constituent's complaint to the Prime Minister that their nature strip had been destroyed by NBN Co workers laying fibre in the area.
Parkes said cases like that were rare, and that NBN Co had been working hard to return nature strips and driveways to their previous condition after the fibre had been laid.
NBN Co has inducted 372 people to work on the site, with 100 to 150 working at peak construction time. The company has used 16 drilling machines in the course of the construction and work on the site is expected to be completed in March.