NBN has unveiled an ambitious three-year construction plan to connect the national broadband network to 9.5 million premises by September 2018.
For the first time, the rollout forecast includes metropolitan areas containing almost three million premises across six Australian cities where existing hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC) cable networks will be upgraded and integrated into the network.
Also under the plan, more than 5.6 million homes will have access to a connection under construction through fibre-to-the-node (FTTN), basement or premises. More than 540,000 homes will be covered by fixed wireless services, NBN said.
NBN will use existing copper and cable infrastructure running into homes to complete the network far sooner and at a dramatically lower cost.
The Coalition Government claimed that during its term, NBN has shaved years off construction time while still delivering superfast broadband of at least 50Mb/s to 90 per cent of the fixed line footprint.
“For the majority of households, this means the NBN will provide the same high speed and high quality service no matter what broadband technology is used,” communications minister, Mitch Fifield said in a statement on Friday.
“Around the world, HFC networks are among the most commonly used means of delivering superfast broadband but astonishingly, the previous Labor government had agreed to pay billions of dollars to junk this infrastructure, which currently passes more than four million premises,” he said.
Around 2.8 million premises in New South Wales will be connected, 2.5 million in Victoria and 1.9 million in Queensland. A further 970,000 will be connected in Western Australia, 750,000 in South Australia, 72,000 in the Northern Territory and 134,000 in the ACT.
Tasmania will become the first state to be fully networked by September 2018, NBN said.
A list of communities where work is scheduled to begin between September 2018 is located on the NBN website.
Internet Australia has welcomed the release of the plan, saying it gives greater certainty to the market and to Internet consumers.
“Our members have genuine concerns about the viability of the ageing copper network which should not be ignored, but whatever technology is used, we need to make sure the rollout is undertaken as quickly and efficiently as possible,” said Internet Australia CEO, Laurie Patton.
Follow CIO Australia on Twitter and Like us on Facebook… Twitter: @CIO_Australia, Facebook: CIO Australia, or take part in the CIO conversation on LinkedIn: CIO Australia
Follow Byron Connolly on Twitter:@ByronConnolly