news Minister for Communications Mitch Fifield has jointly announced that the first NBN fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) services have been switched-on in South Australia.
Making the announcement with the Minister was retiring Member for Boothby, Dr Andrew Southcott.
Liberal Candidate for Boothby, Nicolle Flint, said that residents in the Adelaide suburb of St Marys are among the first to benefit from the “faster NBN which will revolutionise the way we work, learn and access services”.
“Around 2,800 home owners and businesses in Boothby can now place an order with their preferred service provider and experience the benefits of the NBN’s high-speed broadband for themselves,” Flint said.
Almost 20,000 additional local premises are scheduled to be switched on in coming months, using a combination of technologies, she added.
The NBN network is also coming to a further 28,200 premises in the nearby suburb of Boothby, with a total of around 52,000 homes and businesses expected to be reached before 2018.
A statement from Fifield stated: “In 2013 under Labor, the NBN was a mess. There were only 813 existing premises connected to the NBN’s fibre network across the whole of South Australia. There are now more than 126,000 premises able to connect an NBN service, with more than 56,000 active users.”
The NBN is “on track” to meet this year’s rollout forecasts and the network is expected to be completed by 2020, Fifield concluded.
Fibre to the node (FTTN) is a telecoms network architecture based on fibre-optic cables run to a cabinet (‘node’) serving an area, from which existing copper cabling takes services into the premises.
While Labor had originally advocated for a fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) rollout, the Coalition Government has focused instead on integrating the legacy copper and HFC cable networks owned by Telstra and Optus.
This ‘multi-technology mix’ is deemed to be more cost efficient, but has been criticised by the likes of independent telecommunications consultant Paul Budde for not being as ‘future proof’ as a full-fibre network.
In a recent blog post Budde called for “anybody in favour of a better NBN” to help promote the use of a full-fibre network through their connections in communities, industry, politics or media.
Image credit: Office of Mitch Fifield