NBN Co has announced 14 new sites in mainland Australia to receive fibre to the premises, bringing the total to 19.
According to NBN Co CEO, Mike Quigley, each site will have around 3000 residences. The installation of fibre would be completed after consultation with local councils.
The sites include Bacchus Marsh and South Morang in Victoria; inner north Brisbane; Springfield Lakes and Toowoomba in Queensland, and Gungahlin in the ACT.
Modbury and Prospect in South Australia are also included, along with Riverstone and Coffs Harbour in NSW; Victoria Park; Geraldton and Mandurah in Western Australia and Casuarina in the Northern Territory.
Quigley said the councils representing the first five sites in mainland Australia had been happy to see them, but had occasionally wanted to modify which streets and buildings got connected.
“It’s not a question of the council’s dictating,” he said. “They will have issues they may want to take into account, we’ve got a lot of engineering and planning issues and I think together we can come to a good outcome for everyone.”
He also said the inclusion of Gungahlin was partly thanks to community dissatisfaction over its poor Internet coverage.
“I’d say it certainly is a factor in our consideration,” he said. “It’s clear Gungahlin has a problem - it has a bunch of RIMs serving large parts of it, they can’t provide broadband.
“So it makes good sense if you can pick an area in the ACT to pick one that’s got problems with broadband.”
The five existing rollout locations set to be expanded include Minnamurra/Kiama Downs and Armidale in NSW, Townsville in QLD, Brunswick in Victoria and Willunga in South Australia.
The construction of the second release site is set for Q2, 2011. Although Quigley left the door open to using Telstra’s ducts and infrastructure, he claimed it would be dependent on a deal being signed with the Telco giant.
Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, said work was also continuing on the NBN regional backbone blackspots program, with 1100km of the planned 6000km already rolled out.