NBN Co to receive $2.4 billion to extend FTTN overbuild

NBN Co to receive $2.4 billion to extend FTTN overbuild
Published on: 23-10-2022

As government keeps its pre-election promise.

The government has kept its pre-election pledge to back NBN Co with another $2.4 billion so that the network builder can replace more copper-based services with fibre.

NBN Co last night “welcomed the government’s commitment to invest $2.4 billion to roll out more fibre to communities across Australia.”

Labor said in November last year that it would fund an extra 1.5 million homes and businesses in the fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) footprint to be upgraded to fibre-to-the-premises. (FTTP).

The FTTN overbuild program started under the previous government, with Labor pledging to extend it so that a deeper overbuild was possible.

The government likened the work to a "repair job" for the NBN, which was originally specified as a mostly fibre-based network before being built out using multiple access technologies, including copper.

Of the 1.5 million FTTN premises, 660,000 are in regional Australia, the government said.

Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said the $2.4 billion would come in the form of an "equity investment over four years in the 2022-23 federal budget."

NBN Co said it would announce where it would now extend its overbuild of FTTN “in coming months”.

The extra premises would be “able to order a higher speed service by the end of 2025.”

Customers will still need to place an order for a service of 100Mbps or greater in order to qualify for a fibre-based service.

“We welcome the government’s additional $2.4 billion investment in the NBN,” NBN Co CEO Stephen Rue said in a statement.

“Fibre is inherently more capable of delivering faster upload and download speeds, is generally more reliable than copper connections and reduces our maintenance and operating costs."

Rue added the government commitment "allows us to set a goal of enabling around 10 million premises, or up to 90 percent of homes and businesses on the fixed line network, to access [the] highest residential speed tiers with wholesale download speeds of 500 Mbps to close to 1Gbps by the end of 2025.”

NBN Co announces further suburbs and towns eligible for full fibre upgrades

NBN Co has identified a further 300,000 premises that will be given the option to upgrade to full FTTP. The list of additional suburbs and towns closes out the company’s commitment from September 2020 to upgrade two million premises currently covered by the FTTN network foot- print by end-2023.

To trigger a full fibre upgrade, customers will need to place an or- der with a participating RSP for a plan based on wholesale speed tiers starting at 100Mbps.

NBN Co has on average been making around 50,000 premises ready to order higher speed services per month since March 2020. The company is on target to make around 550,000 premises eligible to upgrade to FTTP by the end of this year, and reach the two million target in 2023. By this time, up to eight million premises will be able to access NBN Home Ultrafast services, which offer wholesale download speeds of 500Mbps to close to 1Gbps.

Under the program, once an upgrade area has been identified, NBN Co undertakes design and construction work for local fibre network extensions which generally take 12-18 months to complete.

The list of new eligible premises includes six suburbs in the ACT, 41 new suburbs and towns in NSW as well as four existing locations scheduled for further upgrades, 23 suburbs and towns in Victoria, 32 in Queensland, 16 in South Australia, 37 in WA and four in Tasmania.

NBN Co COO Kathrine Dyer said in addition to providing speed benefits for premises in the expanded footprint, the full fibre upgrades are significantly reducing the number of copper connections used in the national network.

“Fibre is inherently more capable of delivering faster upload and download speeds, is generally more reliable than copper connections and reduces our maintenance and operating costs,” she said. “We are on track to achieve our goal of enabling... up to 75% of homes and businesses on the fixed line network, to access NBN’s highest residential speed tiers... by the end of 2023.”

Communications minister Michelle Rowland told CommsDay the Commonwealth Government strongly supports the upgrade project. “Access to fast and reliable broad- band in 2022 is as essential as running water and electricity. That’s why enabling as many families and small businesses to access a full-fibre lead-in is critical to improving connectivity, boosting productivity and bringing Australians together,” she said.

“I welcome this expansion of NBN Co’s Fibre Connect program today as an opportunity for Australians saddled with inferior technology to enjoy the benefits of a full fibre connection,” she added.

From: www.itnews.com.au/news/nbn-co-to-receive-24-billion-to-extend-fttn-overbuild

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