NBN Co urges patience as network rollout enters final stage
NBN Co is urging people in city areas of southeast Queensland to be patient, as it enters the final phase of the rollout of its National Broadband Network.
The rollout of the NBN has been far from smooth so far, hit with both technical problems and customer complaints about internet speeds where the service has already been rolled out.
But the company believes it has turned a corner as it enters the final stretch of the initial rollout, with about half of Brisbane residents now connected to the network in some form.
NBN Co Queensland spokesman Ryan Williams said they were on track to meet their target of having the full rollout completed by 2020.
“It’s really exciting to be able to get these milestones out of the way because it demonstrates that we are doing stuff and gives people reassurance that it won’t be long now before they get a connection,” he said.
Mr Williams said he understood a lot of people felt the NBN, first announced in 2007 with a completion date of 2016, had been too long coming. But he insisted once it was up and running people would notice a difference for the better.
He identified high-rise buildings as a particular challenge for NBN rollout in metro areas.
“We’re going building by building, working with the body corporates and making sure they’re aware of our activities,” he said.
“There’s already pockets of Brisbane where we have connected, and those pockets will get bigger as the rollout progresses over the next 18 months.”
One of the beneficiaries of the NBN rollout into inner-city areas will be software company Alkira, which has its head office in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley
The company, which produces voice-activation software, has many employees who work remotely. Chief executive officer Ruth Drinkwater said connecting to the NBN would be a major boost.
“We have three offices and connectivity has always been a problem, dropping out was significantly frustrating,” Ms Drinkwater said.
“Business is fast these days, we can’t just wait, slow speeds are not acceptable.
“We need the latest infrastructure to help us grow and do what we do.”
The NBN has gone through several iterations since it was announced, with Labor initially promising a full fibre-optic network to every home in the country, before the subsequent coalition government scaled back that promise to putting fibre to the node.
The company last year had to pause its hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) cable rollout after residents complained of much slower internet speeds than promised.
Mr Williams said despite the setbacks, they were now in the final stretch.
“This is a massive infrastructure project, so it hasn’t been without adventure but the reality is it’s extremely complex and connecting every single premises can be a difficult task at times,” he said
“Ultimately we want people to have a good experience and to get the speed they’re paying for, so any time they’re not happy with the installation or the service they should contact their internet service provider.”
By the end of June, about 525,500 homes and businesses in Brisbane are expected to be able to connect to the network, across inner-city suburbs such as Bowen Hills, Fortitude Valley and Newstead.
Additionally, much of Ipswich and the western corridor is also expected to come online over that period.
Where the NBN is rolling out in 2019
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