NBN Co says it is delivering the country's broadband "quicker, more efficiently and cheaper" with the announcement that the first users of Fibre to the Node technology have now been connected.
The company has been conducting a construction trial in a number of suburbs across the New South Wales central coast and between Brisbane and Bundaberg on the south-east coast of Queensland.
The move towards FTTN technology in the NBN rollout wasby Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull in April, who confirmed that the Government would be opting for a "multi-technology model" incorporating FTTN, existing fibre to the premises connections, as well as hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC), fixed wireless and satellite.
Now the first users have been connected using FTTN, which utilises broadband fibre combined with the existing Telstra-owned copper network. NBN Co quoted FTTN testing speeds of up to 96 mbps for downloads and up to 30 mbps for uploads, but qualified that, because it is only a wholesale provider, these speeds may be different to those experienced by end-users.
Speaking about the trial, NBN Co CEO Bill Morrow said the plan to use a mix of technologies would help the company "scale-up" the NBN rollout across Australia.
The early results and real customer experiences...demonstrate that existing technologies such as the copper network are capable of playing a vital role in delivering the NBN quicker, more efficiently and cheaper for all Australians.
Our plans to build more than 300 additional nodes on top of our construction trial with Telstra will see us benchmark industry best practices as we gear up for wide-scale deployment of the FTTN technology.
The 300 additional nodes will be rolled out in Woy Woy, New South Wales, and Warner, Queensland. These will join construction trial sites in Belmont, Boolaroo, Gorokan, Morisset, and Hamilton in New South Wales, and Bribie Island, Bundaberg, Caboolture, and Gympie in Queensland.
According to NBN Co, residents of Umina are already seeing the benefits of the connection, with the company quoting small business owner and part-time skydiver, Martin McInnes, saying "the sky is the limit" with the new technology.