NBN Co has announced 900,000 more fibre connections across Australia, with premises in suburbs and towns in Tasmania, the ACT and the Northern Territory that are currently served by fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) technology set to progressively become eligible for fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) upgrades.
The National Broadband Network (NBN) builder has also named additional suburbs and towns in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia where certain premises will gain fibre extensions.
This is in addition to earlier announcements to roll fibre deeper into communities in these states and territories to pass some 200,000 premises.
According to NBN Co, this will enable access to the wholesale download speed tier of nearly 1 Gbps on demand by 2023 if customers order plans based on eligible wholesale speed tiers.
However, FTTN customers who cannot currently receive access to the higher speed tiers will need to order a plan based on wholesale speed tiers of 100/20 Mbps or higher to qualify for a full-fibre upgrade.
This follows NBN Co's announcement in September last year that it would invest $3.5 billion to upgrade its network, including 'on demand' fibre upgrades to existing FTTN connections.
As a result, the network builder is also planning to commence similar full fibre upgrades to be made available on demand to eligible customers living or working in premises currently served by fibre-to-the-curb (FTTC).
The upgrade will look to improve speeds on the hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC) network up to 1 Gbps, upgrade the fibre to the curb (FTTC) network speeds up to 100 Mbps with the option of on-demand access to 1 Gbps — via G.Fast technology — and resolve in-home cabling issues for premises on the FTTN network.
“We’re very pleased to announce the latest list of suburbs and towns across Australia – from Byron Bay on the eastern tip of New South Wales to Yokine in Western Australia – that will ultimately see around 2 million FTTN premises become eligible to join our ever-expanding FTTP footprint, on demand,” said NBN Co CEO Stephen Rue.
“We very deliberately rolled out the National Broadband Network at pace across Australia using a range of technologies to ensure we could provide access to high speed broadband services across Australia as quickly as possible.”
The announcement also follows protests on 3 May by NBN subcontractors due to pay cuts, poor treatment, issues with job bookings and scheduling, alongside a "pyramid contracting model".