We are currently going through the trials and tribulations of waiting for the National Broadband Network (NBN) rollout- in whatever shape or form. What we tend to forget is that this is far from being a new story.

Just over one hundred years ago residents of our district were waiting patiently for the rollout of the then ‘state-of-the -art’ communication technology of the time- the telephone.

While the technology has certainly changed over the century, the implementation of new technologies certainly hasn’t- even then the ‘rollout’ of the telephone lines seems haphazard. And of course , just as now, the implementation of the communication technology was prone to political interference.

The Post and Telegraph Office, opened in 1887, was a grand civic building in Moruya.
The Post and Telegraph Office, opened in 1887, was a grand civic building in Moruya.

The following extract from the Moruya Examiner of 19 January, 1907 clearly illustrates this.

TELEPHONE

Strike while the iron is hot,” if you want to make an impression, is an axiom accepted with more faith than Peter could sum up when he attempted to walk on the waters, in fact, it has no doubters. Such being the case we are forced to ask the question – can the residents of the out-of-the-way centres of this district, who wish to keep step with the progress of the times ever hope for a more opportune time to strike in the direction of obtaining telephonic communication with their neighbours than the present, when the question is at fever heat. Mogo, Newstead and Deua River are now all enjoying this privilege, but what about Kiora, Bergalia and Turlinjah? Surely the residents of the latter localities are equally entitled to consideration in this connection as are those of the former. Already there is a telegraph line runningthrough Bergalia and Turlinjah, connecting Moruya and Bodalla, and the expense of connection to the condenser system would be most infinitesimal, whilst the erection of a line connecting Kiora with Moruya would be a very inexpensive one indeed.

Mr Austin Chapman, MP for Eden Monaro
Mr Austin Chapman, MP for Eden Monaro

The advantages of quick communication in these days of rapid progress when people are hustling for the first dawn of commercial information, and time is money, stand out so prominently that there is absolutely no necessity to enumerate them. By the last issue of the Nimmitybelle News we notice that Mr. Austin Chapman, M.P., advises that arrangements are now being made for the connection of Adaminaby, Berridale, Dalgety, Jindabyne and Cooma, by condenser telephone, and for the opening for use by the public, on the regulation terms, of all the condenser telephone stations mentioned.

The Examiner would strongly advise Kiora, Bergalia and Turlinjah residents to strike while the ‘phone is hot and the wire uncoils from town to hamlet until the wants and wishes of the horny-handed-way-backs can be made known by electric current.

Moruya's early switch - the state-of-the-art technology!
Moruya’s early switch – the state-of-the-art technology!
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