NBN roll­out reaches some

Wanneroo Weekender - - News - Laura Pond

WORK has started to con­nect 3200 homes in parts of Bel­don, Kal­la­roo and Mul­laloo to the na­tional broad­band net­work.

Fed­eral Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Min­is­ter Mitch Fi­field and Moore MHR Ian Good­e­nough were in Mul­laloo last Fri­day to mark the be­gin­ning of net­work con­struc­tion in the area.

Ear­lier in the week, NBN Co an­nounced 2 mil­lion homes and busi­nesses were con­nected across the coun­try and more than 4.5 mil­lion premises were able to or­der the ser­vice.

It ex­pects to reach the half­way point of the net­work build by the mid­dle of the year, with the ul­ti­mate goal for all Aus­tralians to have ac­cess by the end of 2020 at a fore­cast cost of be­tween $46 bil­lion and $54 bil­lion.

Prior to the 2013 elec­tion, then Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull said the project would cost $29.5 bil­lion and be com­pleted by 2019, with down­load speeds of 25mb/s avail­able to ev­ery­one by the end of 2016.

Mr Fi­field said about 6000 premises were be­ing ac­ti­vated each day na­tion­wide.

“In WA the roll­out is closer to 40 per cent com­plete so our fo­cus and the fo­cus of NBN is keep­ing the roll­out on track and so far, since we’ve been in the sad­dle, NBN has hit ev­ery bud­get mile­stone and hit its roll­out mile­stone,” he said.

De­spite fewer than half of peo­ple with ac­cess to the net­work signed up, he de­scribed the takeup rate as “good” and at­trib­uted the dis­par­ity to the 18 months peo­ple had to con­nect.

Last month, Mr Good­e­nough told Fed­eral par­lia­ment he had been con­tacted by res­i­dents in sub­urbs in­clud­ing Dun­craig, Edge­wa­ter, Marmion, Kings­ley and Wood­vale, about in­ad­e­quate ac­cess to broad­band ser­vices.

“There ex­ists an ur­gent and com­pelling need to up­grade the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions in­fra­struc­ture by im­ple­ment­ing the Na­tional Broad­band Net­work in a more timely man­ner,” he said.

Mr Good­e­nough told the Times NBN Co had con­trol over op­er­a­tional de­ci­sions for the roll­out and he was push­ing them to com­plete it as quickly as pos­si­ble but un­der­stood work crews were of­ten met with un­fore­seen ob­sta­cles that slowed down the in­stal­la­tion process.

He said it was a top­i­cal is­sue in the elec­torate, par­tic­u­larly in more es­tab­lished sub­urbs.

“They have been wait­ing a long time and its great to see that the roll­out is hap­pen­ing,” he said.

But he be­lieved it “could al­ways be done quicker”.

“I think there are about 5500 premises that have the avail­abil­ity in Moore and we hope to get to about 55,000 premises by 2018, I think about 1800 premises have con­nected al­ready so it’s some­thing that’s a pri­or­ity,” he said.

Mr Fi­field said the net­work’s pur­pose was to ad­dress is­sues of in­ad­e­quate ser­vice.

“There are peo­ple through­out Aus­tralia who aren’t get­ting the sorts of ser­vices that they should be en­ti­tled to so that’s the gen­e­sis of the NBN,” he said.

“Our ob­jec­tive is to get the NBN built as soon as pos­si­ble so that the whole na­tion has it as soon as pos­si­ble.

“Given the scope of the ex­er­cise and the com­plex­ity of it, I’m pretty happy with how it’s rolling out.”

Con­struc­tion in Bel­don, Kal­la­roo and Mul­laloo is us­ing Hy­brid Fi­bre Coax­ial (HFC) tech­nol­ogy (via ex­ist­ing pay TV ca­bles) and will next move to re­main­ing parts of the sub­urbs, as well as Craigie,

Heathridge, Hil­larys, Ocean Reef, and Pad­bury, and res­i­dents can ex­pect to con­nect to the net­work in the next few months.

About 7500 homes in Kings­ley and Wood­vale will also re­ceive a HFC con­nec­tion, with work de­layed from the first half of this year to the sec­ond half of the year.

NBN Co spokes­woman Ebony Aitken said the de­lay was be­cause the “sheer size and com­plex­ity of the net­work build means there will al­ways be a need for flex­i­bil­ity and this can some­times cause a change in roll­out”.

She said the com­pany planned to launch DOCSIS 3.1 tech­nol­ogy via the HFC broad­band, which would see de­ploy­ment of the first gi­ga­bit speeds over ca­ble broad­band net­works.

“It’s ex­cit­ing news for lo­cals who will soon be able to ex­pe­ri­ence the ben­e­fits of su­per-fast broad­band,” she said.

Pic­ture: Martin Ken­nealey www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d467879

Fed­eral Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Min­is­ter Mitch Fiffield,Moore MHR Ian Good­e­nough and Tel­stra tech­ni­cian Will Cole in Mul­laloo.

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