news The NBN company today revealed its Fibre to the Node infrastructure was ready to be used at some 50,000 homes, a milestone that it reached just 51 days after formally launching the infrastructure in September.
The original Labor vision for the NBN called for a near-universal Fibre to the Premises rollout, which would have seen fibre deployed all the way to almost all Australians’ premises. However, the Coalition’s model for the NBN has significantly watered down that model and will see fibre deployed only partially to many customers’ premises, re-using the copper and HFC cable networks belonging to Telstra and Optus.
The NBN company formally launched its FTTN commercial services on 21 September this year. It appears that the company had been deploying the technology for some time previously in its early rollout areas. It conducted two trials of the FTTN technology in 2014 and 2015.
A spokesperson for the company said this afternoon that the company had already reached some 50,000 premises, with 1,000 customers already using services over the FTTN infrastructure.
Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said the 1,000 connected premises milestone had been reached just 51 days after the formal launch of FTTN commercial services in mid-September.
“In comparison, under the previous Labor Government, the first 1,000 homes took more than 15 months to connect to the Fibre-to-the-Premises network,” Fifield said.
“Unlike the Fibre-To-The-Premises rollout under Labor, which was plagued by delays because of construction complexity, the Coalition’s multi-technology mix largely removes the need for in-home rewiring or civil works on private property.”
Fifield did not mention, however, that the speed of the FTTN rollout was based on several additional factors. For example, it has actually taken the NBN company more than two years to reach the milestone. The company first started examining the FTTN technology in the wake of the September 2013 Federal Election, when the Coalition took power and and changed the NBN’s model.
In addition, the rapid rollout of the FTTN network would not have been possible without the grounding work that went into setting up the NBN company over the first several years of its life.
Fifield said the NBN network— “in which FTTN plays a vital role” — was essential for Australia’s digital evolution.
“Everyone will benefit from faster, more reliable internet connections, no matter how many people within the household are using it—using the broadband network to be more productive, more creative, more efficient and more connected for years to come,” the Minister said.
“NBN’s faster and more reliable broadband also means businesses such as Hunter Water Sports, a kayak and water sport accessories retailer in Newcastle, enjoys a seamless switch-over to the NBN network.” Hunter recently conducted an interview with the NBN company regarding its switch.
“From February 2016, NBN is aiming to offer faster broadband to between 60,000 and 100,000 premises each month on the FTTN network,” Fifield said. “The only additional equipment required is a modem suitable for the super-speed vectored VDSL which internet providers can send to their customers on request for free.”
However, it hasn’t proven entirely problem-free for customers or retail Internet service providers to deploy the FTTN technology to customers. Delimiter has chronicled some of the issues in our regular column for Delimiter Members, The Inside Track.
Image credit: Office of Minister Fifield