NSW Digital Connectivity Index

There is no surprise that the best performance is concentrated in the NSW (Newcastle Sydney Wollongong) corridor. There are some exceptions, why is Fairfield so poor in comparison with surrounding suburbs?

Having looked at the map but knowing absolutely nothing about the area, I will take two guesses:

  1. Safe seat, state and federal
  2. Not enough money or influence to persuade planners that it deserves any attention.



Depending on where one draws the boundary line in the Hunter, West of Sydney and Wollongong.
6-6.5M of NSW’s 8.3M population according to ABS estimates. Or 75-80% (3/4) of the state population.

Curiosity revealed the following.

By the end of December 2023, 75% of premises in the NBN fixed line network will be able to access fibre all the way to their homes and benefit from download speeds of close to 1 Gbps through NBN’s fastest residential plan.
An upgrade will be available on-demand where an eligible household or business takes out a higher speed plan, with no upfront installation cost.

More than three million Australians now eligible for full-fibre NBN upgrades | Ministers for the Department of Infrastructure

To note NSW - Fairfield and Fairfield East are on the list of suburbs included through to 2025. The catch for those committing is while the upgrade is free, the customer needs to be able to afford to upgrade to a higher speed (more expensive) plan for an agreed minimum period of time.

Even small regional towns such as Boggabri which one can walk around in 10 minutes are on the list for upgrades - 2025.

The index may bring more meaning in 2026, assuming the upgrades are not put on hold by any changes of future Govt. It has a socio economic component as well as technical appraisal.

That’s a very important point. This index is looking at what is available and how affordable it is. Affordability is assessed relative to income/asset data for the area. So if two suburbs have access to the exact same technology and plans but one is wealthier then the wealthier suburb will have a higher index.

That could be quite distorting if someone wants to draw political conclusions.

One way of looking at it is that the index is a measure of “digital advantage”, and advantage comes from both what is available and how wealthy the area is.

All that said, I don’t think they transparently explain exactly how the index is derived.