NBN Co is starting work this week to extend fibre deeper into communities in selected metropolitan and regional areas of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia.
NBN Co’s initial extension of fibre deeper into local communities will pass more than 100,000 premises in areas currently serviced by Fibre to the Node (FTTN) technology. The company will progressively continue to select, design and construct new fibre extensions over the next two years and is aiming to pass around 2 million premises by the end of 2023.
NBN Co will consult with internet retailers before finalising the design for its extended fibre network and is planning to make further announcements in early 2021 about its future rollout plans.
The footprint for the 100,000 eligible premises has been designed by NBN Co where we anticipate strong demand for higher speeds; where NBN Co has established construction and delivery partners with an existing workforce in place following the recent completion of the initial build of the nbn network; where it can deploy with speed and agility; where it is cost-effective to start work now; and in a way that the investment is most likely to spread and multiply economic activity across the nation.
The extension of fibre deeper into communities will ultimately enable customers living and working in affected premises to place an order for a higher speed services, which is likely to trigger the construction of a fibre lead-in direct to individual customers’ premises. This will effectively complete their conversion from Fibre to the Node (FTTN) to Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) technology, on demand, if that is what is required to deliver the desired speed to individual premises.
NBN Co will work closely with internet retailers over the coming months to define the process by which eligible customers can express their interest in ordering a higher speed broadband service and acquiring a fibre lead-in to their premises.
The extension of fibre to service these 100,000 additional premises will cover parts of the following towns and suburbs:
Belmont North, Charlestown, Toronto, Carramar, Castle Hill, Holsworthy, Liverpool, and Wetherill Park in New South Wales;
Lyndhurst and Narre Warren in Victoria;
Acacia Ridge, Browns Plains, Eight Mile Plains and Oxenford in Queensland;
Osborne in South Australia, and
Cannington and Double View in Western Australia.
The initial work to extend fibre deeper into communities, passing 100,000 premises, represents approximately 5 per cent of Local Fibre Network build program.
This marks the start of NBN Co’s $4.5 billion network investment program, which aims to make nbn’s highest wholesale speed tiers available2, as demand arises, to around 8 million premises – or up to 75 per cent of homes and businesses on the fixed line network by 2023.
NBN Co also reports that it is making good progress on its Hybrid Fibre Cable (HFC) network upgrade program. Since the company launched its nbn Home Fast, nbn Home Superfast and nbn Home Ultrafast wholesale speed tiers in May 2020, 100 per cent of customers connected via HFC have been able to order nbn Home Fast; approximately 70 per cent have been able to order nbn Home Superfast, and approximately 7 per cent of customers in the HFC footprint have been able to access the fastest residential speed tier1.
NBN Co is working to ensure that by the end of November 2020, more than 25 per cent of premises in the HFC footprint will be able to order nbn Ultrafast broadband1. The company expects that by June 2021 over two-thirds of premises in the HFC network footprint will be able to order nbn Ultrafast broadband, and it forecasts that by the end of 2021 nearly the entire HFC network footprint should be able to order nbn Ultrafast broadband, which is capable of achieving wholesale download speeds of 500Mbps to close to 1Gbps.
NBN Co Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Rue, said:
“We are investing now and will be working hard in suburbs and towns throughout Australia over the next three years to make the nbn ready for the high-speed broadband needs and data demands of the future.
“More than 72 per cent of our fixed line network is already capable of supporting wholesale download speeds of 100 Mbps or faster, and new demand for higher speed services is emerging quickly as customers realise the social, economic and lifestyle benefits that fast broadband can deliver.
“We have connected more than 950,000 premises to the nbn network this year alone, and there has been increasing interest from customers connecting to the nbn for the first time for plans offering download speeds of around 100 Mbps or better.
“Throughout 2020, as people have worked, studied and increasingly entertained themselves at home, approximately 55,000 customers have chosen to upgrade via their internet provider to plans offering download speeds of around 100 Mbps or better.
“We see this demand for higher speed broadband services accelerating in the years ahead as more people connect more devices within their homes, and we continue to automate our homes, which inevitably requires faster download and upload speeds and greater capacity to be built into the network.”