RETIRED builder Larry Morton (65) says he’s amazed how much technology has changed since he built a telephone exchange in Mindarie 25 years ago.
Mr Morton built the Telstra facility on Rothesay Heights, as well several others across Perth and WA when they catered for landlines.
Last month, the Mindarie resident revisited the building “around the corner” at the launch of the NBN rollout for his suburb plus Quinns Rocks and Tamala Park.
“I walked through the building on July 27 – the wires astounded me more than anything,” he said.
“That building is 25 years old. It looks just like a house – it blended into the neighbourhood.”
Mr Morton and his wife Gail ran LJ Morton Bricklaying and built the “first prototype” of exchange buildings before suburbs like Mindarie were developed.
He said they were among the first to move into the former quarry site two decades ago and it had been interesting to see all the changes.
The grandfather said Gail used the internet often as the secretary of a darts club, and they had grandchildren and relatives living in Bunbury and interstate, so NBN access would make it easier to see them online.
“It will be like having my arms around them,” he said.
“I’m so happy that we are getting it.
“I’m not technologically advanced but I’m learning at the moment, so I can see the benefits.”
Telstra’s July 27 launch means north coast residents will be among the first nationally to receive high-speed fibre to the node (FTTN) technology, accessible to more than 1900 homes in Quinns Rocks, Tamala Park and Mindarie.
Telstra area general manager Boyd Brown said staff were in Mindarie last month to explain how the community could benefit.
“As the NBN network rolls out across Quinns Rocks, a world of new opportunities opens up: office-like internet speeds at home, endless entertainment options and countless ways to connect with friends and loved ones,” he said.
“With a third of the local population school-aged, the reliable NBN network connection and speeds will give students a boost by ensuring they can access resources online and attend lectures remotely, without having to worry about buffering and download delays.”
The NBN is expected to roll out through Ridgewood and Clarkson in October, then Jindalee in November.
The total number of premises in these areas will include 1600 on fibre to the premises and 10,500 on FTTN.
The telecommunications provider has developed ‘Masterclass on the NBN’ to educate and empower those feeling bewildered by the technology.