NBN to touch 3.5 million premises by 2015

Preparation work by NBN Co has made this goal achievable.

Under NBN Co’s new three-year plan, 3.5 million premises across Australia will either have or be in the process of being connected to the National Broadband Network (NBN).

The Government-funded company released its ambitious three-year NBN plan at a press conference at the NICTA headquarters in Sydney. Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, and NBN Co CEO, Mike Quigley, spoke at the event.

The mass rollout of the NBN will begin on April 1. By 31 June 2015 construction would have begun or completed for the following number of premises:

  • 1.01 million in New South Wales
  • 691,600 in Victoria
  • 678,600 in Queensland
  • 429,200 in Western Australia
  • 327,300 in South Australia
  • 135,300 in ACT
  • 65,2000 in Northern Territory
  • 209,100 in Tasmania

The full list of locations are available on the NBN Co website

“This three-year plan covers about one-third of homes and businesses across our nation,” the Prime Minister said. “… As construction reaches its peak, around 400 work teams employing more than sixteen thousand workers will be installing fibre optic cable to an average of 6000 premises per week.

Finalisation of the $11 billion deal between Telstra and NBN Co has made the mass rollout schedule possible, according to Senator Conroy.

“These agreements give NBN Co access to Telstra’s ducts and pits,” he said. “By reusing the existing infrastructure, we are helping reduce the disruption to communities as the network is rolled out.”

Prior to the finalisation of the Telstra-NBN Co deal, the NBN was marred by several delays.

Some areas will inevitably be left off the three-year rollout plan. Quigley outlined NBN Co connects sites in module, each with around 3000 premises. Decisions on where to rollout first is dependent on a number of factors including technical constraints.

NBN Co also doesn’t want to deploy fibre in too many places in the same area concurrently to avoid congesting streets.

“We have to haul fibre through the Telstra ducts and that means there will be trucks on the streets,” Quigley said. “We just can’t afford to have that going on everywhere at once in a given area.”

NBN Co is finalising an updated rollout plan to tender to the Government by the end of May.

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