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Coming to an area near you: NBN reveals three-year rollout plan

When will you get the NBN? The company rolling out the nation's broadband network has released a comprehensive list of the suburbs in its sights, detailing construction timelines and the technology it will use.


NBN has shed light on its broadband rollout schedule for the next three years, giving Australians a better idea of when construction will begin for 7.5 million homes and businesses across the country, and the technology that will be used in each area.

The company responsible for building Australia's national broadband network released its three-year plan today, covering the period up until September 2018, which for the first time includes details about where NBN will use cable TV networks or hybrid-fibre coaxial cable (HFC) to deliver broadband.

Head over to NBN's website for a detailed list of the areas included in the three-year plan, ordered by state and broken down into individual suburbs, premises served, anticipated technology and expected construction commencement date.

The plan also provides a detailed roadmap of NBN's new strategy to deliver the national broadband network using a Multi-Technology Mix. This MTM approach, ordered by the Coalition Government when it came into power last year, will see the company use a mix of previously-used fibre to the premises technology, as well as lower cost fibre to the node technology that uses Telstra's legacy copper network. This will combine with HFC in metro areas as well as satellite connectivity for regional and remote areas.

According to NBN, this multi-technology approach will help it begin construction on 9.5 million homes and businesses by September 2018, with 8 million homes expected to be connected by 2020.

While NBN may have officially killed off fibre to the premises, saying there is no need to its networks, Australians can still find out which particular technology will be used in their area and when construction will begin.

NBN CEO Bill Morrow said the rollout was "exciting news for the suburbs and towns added to construction." However, the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network says that some consumers will "still be waiting up to five years for adequate broadband services" under the plan and should be offered alternatives in the interim.

This is a known issue in regional Australia, where customers complain of a lack of service from established ISPs and telcos as they await completion of the national broadband network.

"ACCAN is very concerned for consumers who have not made the list and are currently unable to get adequate broadband services," said the organisation's CEO Teresa Corbin. "Some consumers are experiencing this if there are no ADSL ports available or their premises are too far from exchanges.

"ACCAN is calling on the telecommunications industry to address any gaps and provide affordable interim solutions for these consumers. In particular, we are calling on Telstra to maintain existing services and to investigate alternative solutions for consumers in exchange areas without available services."