news The National Broadband Network company today released a detailed plan of the locations and schedule where it plans to deploy fibre and wireless broadband infrastructure over the next three years, noting that the rollout was slated to hit some 3.5 million premises in 1500 communities in every state and territory in Australia.
The list of locations is available online through an interactive map, and those interested to find out when their geography will be connected can type in their location or postcode to check what the progress is in their area.
The locations were chosen, according to NBN Co, firstly on the basis of meeting a number of policy objectives, namely that construction should take place across both rural and metropolitan areas; that construction should be across all states and territories; that the rollout in Tasmania should be finished by 2016 and that all new developments with over 100 premises should be covered.
In addition, NBN Co added a number of its own guidelines to help determine the schedule, ranging from the idea that the fixed wireless rollout should be completed in 2015 (it will target a small percentage of areas which won’t receive fibre); that satellite broadband via NBN Co’s own satellites should be available by 2015, and that areas where there were a large number of new developments should be prioritised, to avoid old technologies having to be installed — only to be replaced with the NBN later on.
In addition, NBN Co has set a rule that when it has started construction of its network in a certain area, it will complete coverage in that area before moving on to another area. In this sense, it defines areas as ‘fibre serving areas’ of about 3,000 premises per area.
There are currently 750,000 premises where construction is under way or slated to start this year, and eight early locations where the fibre network is already operating. NBN Co also plans to update its rollout schedule once a year, outlining the next series of areas where construction was slated to start. The entire project is expected to take about a decade to complete, and on average, it is estimated to take about 12 months from the release of NBN Co maps of a location, to the time when Australians in that area will be able to order retail NBN services.
In a statement, NBN Co chief executive Mike Quigley described the release of the plans as “a significant day for Australia’s digital future”.
“Construction contracts are in place and the major commercial and regulatory hurdles have been cleared, giving us the momentum we need to deliver better broadband to every Australian, no matter where they live,” he said.
Flanked by Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy and Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese, Quigley launched this first major stage of NBN Co’s rollout plans at a press conference in Sydney this morning. Further coverage of that wide-ranging press conference — including video — will be published by Delimiter shortly.
Some examples of the rollout maps:
Image credits: Screenshots of NBN Co’s rollout map