Broadband network provider, nbn, has released a three-year rollout plan that, for the first time, includes the areas where it will use cable TV networks (HFC – Hybrid Fibre Coaxial cable). All up, this brings the total number of premises that will be able to order a service or be under construction by September 2018 to almost 9.5 million.
nbn CEO, Bill Morrow, said that with HFC now in plan (mainly in metropolitan areas), a growing number of premises connected to Fibre to the Node (FTTN) and the successful launch of its first long-term satellite, nbn was well positioned to achieve its goal of connecting eight million premises across Australia by 2020.
The in-plan numbers are in addition to the almost 700,000 premises under construction and nearly 1.3 million premises that are already able to connect to the broadband network.
The full list of areas included in the plan, the technologies they are scheduled to receive and when construction is due to start can be found at www.nbnco.com.au/3yearplan
The numbers of homes and businesses in each state and territory planned to start construction by September 2018 are:
- NSW: 2,214,190
- Victoria: 2,149,820
- Queensland: 1,504,480
- SA: 617,300
- WA: 802,540
- Tasmania: 104,500
- NT 11,300
- ACT 81,200
- Total: 7,485,330
ACCAN RESPONDS: Five years too long to wait for adequate broadband
The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) welcomed the three-year plan but was concerned that some consumers will still be waiting up to five years for adequate broadband services.
Ït said information released about the National Broadband Network (NBN) has been limited in the last few years. This had left many consumers in the dark about when the NBN might reach them.
ACCAN claimed it regularly heard from our members and consumers about the lack of information and transparency of the NBN rollout. This announcement provides more information for a large number of areas and is due to be updated quarterly, meaning consumers will be more informed.
“nbn previously estimated that 20 per cent of premises in Australia were not able to access adequate services. Through this plan, and over the next three years, a large portion of these consumers will be connected to the National Broadband Network,” ACCAN CEO, Teresa Corbin, said.
“However, ACCAN is very concerned for consumers who have not made the list and are currently unable to get adequate broadband services. Some consumers are experiencing this if there are no ADSL ports available or their premises are too far from exchanges. Addressing areas that are currently poorly served is one of our policy priorities that we announced earlier this week.
“ACCAN is calling on the telecommunications industry to address any gaps and provide affordable interim solutions for these consumers. In particular, we are calling on Telstra to maintain existing services and to investigate alternative solutions for consumers in exchange areas without available services. Consumers who will be waiting up to five years should be offered alternative services.”
Corbin said it was important consumers understood what is being announced and how it will affect them. The nbn rollout occurs in three main stages: preparation for build, building of the network, and when finished services are then available for consumers to purchase.
The announcement provides the expected date that nbn will commence building the network in the areas listed (the second stage). It can take a further 12 months after this date before consumers are contacted by nbn, notifying them that they can purchase services through a retail provider, for example, Telstra, Optus or iiNet. Therefore the last construction areas on this plan (construction to begin in H2 2018) will likely not be able to purchase services until 2019, she said.