Bendigo homes and businesses could get access to ultra-fast internet under a $4.5 billion upgrade to the national broadband network.
Under the plan, at least eight million premises across the country should have speeds of up to one gigabit per second by 2023.
The investment has been welcomed by Be.Bendigo chief executive Dennis Bice, who said the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted network gaps.
"A better NBN service is definitely of benefit to Bendigo, because we found out during the pandemic there are some gaps in service levels," Mr Bice said.
"Heathcote and Axedale are two examples, but a number of suburbs are hampered by slow internet speeds."
La Trobe University Technology Innovation Lab director, Associate Professor Simon Egerton, said internet connectivity was now a utility we should all take for granted.
"This move to provide a faster NBN service will directly benefit everyone who is able to receive the upgrade and is especially important as more of our work and daily lives are connected through the internet," Mr Egerton said.
Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said with 99 per cent of premises now able to connect to the NBN, the time was right to upgrade the network.
Labor originally planned to connect most Australian homes to the NBN through fibre to the premises.
The Coalition scrapped this approach after coming to power in 2013, in favour of mixed technologies.
Fibre was instead rolled out to "nodes" near houses or apartment blocks, which people would connect to via copper wires, often leaving them with much slower connections.
Bendigo MP Lisa Chesters said she would be lobbying to ensure as many Bendigo properties as possible were included in the plan.
"I fear this plan could just be for new establishments or areas where it's deemed the cooper is so bad they need to roll out fibre to the premises," Ms Chesters said.
"Far too many businesses and households have struggled during the pandemic to do business efficiently.
"This could have been avoided if the government continued to roll out Labor's original plan, which was fibre to the premises."
Mr Fletcher said the project was "shovel ready", with detailed plans and modelling for the new locations to be developed in the coming months.