news The NBN’s first fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) services have launched in Victoria, bringing upgraded internet services to thousands more homes and businesses in the state.
Launching the service at Pakenham, near Melbourne – the first city to go live under the NBN’s new “faster rollout” – were Minister for Communications Mitch Fifield, Member for McMillan Russell Broadbent and Member for La Trobe Jason Wood.
“It is a pleasure to be here in Pakenham to mark yet another milestone for the NBN rollout after reaching one million customers last week,” said Fifield.
Broadbent suggested the region should take “full advantage” of the network’s arrival and that residents should contact their preferred service provider to “discuss options or place an order for an NBN service”.
“From tomorrow the entire city will have NBN access. That means upgraded internet is available to around 20,000 homes and businesses across Pakenham and Officer,” Broadbent said.
Another 37,000 homes will be connected to the NBN service “between now and September” at centres including Moe, Warragul, Drouin, Wonthaggi and Inverloch, he said.
“My electorate of McMillan will be one of the most connected in Australia,” said Broadbent, who added: “Access to fast broadband at affordable prices can be revolutionary for small businesses, farms and households with students.”
“The NBN rollout is building momentum right across Victoria with construction due to get underway in Narre Warren, Berwick and Ferntree Gully later this year,” Wood said.
The NBN’s FTTN network uses the existing copper lines already already connecting many homes to deliver faster broadband. This enables NBN Co to “dramatically speed up” the network rollout, as well as saving on construction costs.
However, the Coalition Government’s FTTN policy has been criticised as not being as “future proof” as fibre to the premises (FTTP), which brings fibre into the home, or even fibre to the distribution point (FTTdp), which brings fibre closer to the premises than FTTN.
With the Pakenham launch, Fifield took the chance to knock Labor’s record on the NBN rollout in Victoria, saying: “At the 2013 election, under the previous Labor Government, fewer than 20,000 houses in Victoria were connected, despite Brunswick and Ballarat being among the first areas to go into construction in 2010.”
“Our changes to Labor’s original rollout have prevented monthly Internet bills increasing by up to $43 per month; saved around $30 billion in total funding and brought forward the finish date by 6 to 8 years,” the Minister said.
The NBN network is now available to more than 470,000 premises in Victoria, which now includes 226,000 paying customers, according to government figures.
Image credit: Parliamentary Broadcasting