As of October 1, more than 14,000 residents and business owners whose properties have been passed by the fibre network in the five mainland first release sites will be able to order NBN services.
The first five mainland sites with NBN Co rollouts are Armidale in NSW, Kiama in NSW, Willunga in SA, Townsville in QLD and Brunswick in Victoria.
Until now, service providers invited consumers and businesses to participate in the trial. To date, around 800 properties have been connected to the NBN trial, this is double NBN Co’s set target of 400 connections during the trial period.
Customers and businesses can now order NBN services from participating telephone or internet service providers, once the trial period ends.
“The launch of commercial services over the fibre network in the mainland First Release Sites marks a significant milestone for the delivery of the NBN,” NBN Co head of product development and sales, Jim Hassell, said.“It is the start of a new era of service and competition as providers begin to offer a range of different plans over our open-access wholesale network.
“It is also an important landmark for NBN Co as we start to generate our first revenue from fibre services. Not only is the NBN a project that will see our national infrastructure upgraded, it is an investment through which revenues are planned to eventually repay the initial outlay and deliver a return to taxpayers.”
A number of service providers have already released their broadband and telephone pricing plans, with a range of plans offering different price points and service levels for broadband, voice and bundled services. More are expected in the near future.
“Some of the NBN service plans so far released by service providers include free local and national calls for a flat monthly fee, making the telephone component of an NBN service very attractive. Others offer quite low prices for un-timed local and national calls as part of their monthly access charge,” he said.
“For heavy internet users, there is a range of speed and usage allowances to choose from – so the message is, shop around and make sure you compare both price and service.”