news Just days after NBN Co’s announcement revealing that it has reached over one million active users, the Government has announced another milestone, saying three million premises are now able to connect to the National Broadband Network.
According to a statement from Senator Mitch Fifield, Minister for Communications, the NBN is “ahead of schedule and on-budget”, and is expected to be available to 5.4 million premises by 30 June of next year and over 9 million premises by 30 June 2018.
In just over a year, the Senator said, “almost half” of all homes and businesses in Australia will be able to order an NBN service – a figure that will rise to three-quarters of Australian homes and businesses in less than a year after that.
Additionally, there are now over 1.2 million premises with an active NBN service.
“This latest milestone shows that the Coalition’s multi-technology mix NBN rollout is the fastest, most affordable way to ensure all Australians can access high-speed broadband,” he said.
“Rolling out the NBN to more homes and businesses as quickly as possible will boost productivity and provide a platform for innovation to ensure the economic and social benefits of the internet are available to all Australians,” said the Minister.
With one in four Australian homes and businesses now able to order an NBN service, the national network is “opening up a wealth of new opportunities for education, economic growth and entertainment”, he added.
The Coalition Government’s Multi-Technology Mix (MTM) policy for the NBN brings together a number of technologies aimed to speed up and reduce the immense costs of rolling out the NBN.
However, rather than heavily relying on fibre to the node (FTTN) and revamped HFC cable networks, some commentators have said that a largely fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) NBN would better ‘future proof’ Australia as reliance on technology rapidly increases.
Back in June, founding NBN chief executive Mike Quigley launched a stinging attack on the MTM model, and demonstrated that the policy has set the NBN back years and resulted in overspending adding up to tens of billions of dollars.
Quigley – who led NBN Co from 2009 to mid-2013 – said it is “a pity that the Coalition has put their faith in what has turned out to be a short-sighted, expensive and backward looking MTM plan based on copper”.
“The nation is going to be bearing the consequences of those decisions for years to come in higher costs and poorer performance in an area that is critical to its long term future,” he said.
Image credit: NBN company