NBN Co, the public-private company set up to oversee the construction and management of the NBN, has revealed that the last of the First Release sites has gone live, with trials of fibre-based connections opened up in Willunga, South Australia. The first release fibre network in Willunga covers 940 premises, with residents in approximately 91% of properties having consented to the installation of fibre-optic cables to their premises during construction to make them ‘NBN-ready’. A trial phase will now run until October 2011, following which residents in the area will be able to order services from those internet service providers (ISPs) that have signed up to be part of the first tier of operators to offer services over the new infrastructure. Commenting on the development, NBN Co chief executive Mike Quigley said: ‘Willunga is the fifth and final First Release Site for NBN Co to officially go live on the Australian mainland. We will work closely with a number of telecommunications and broadband service providers to develop the systems and processes that will support them as they deliver more services in the future.’
According to NBN Co, around 150 customers have already been connected as part of the trial in Willunga, while it claimed that across all five of the mainland’s First Release sites there were more than 650 trial users, while it estimated that more than 1,800 end-users were receiving services over the NBN when including the fibre-optic infrastructure in Tasmania and those connected via the NBN Co Interim Satellite Service. Further, NBN Co reiterated that so far 24 retail service providers have signed up to participate in the fibre trial phase, with twelve of those ready to test services having passed a certification process, with those being: AAPT, AARNet, Adam Internet, Exetel, iiNet, Internode, ispONE, Nextgen Networks, Optus, Platform Networks, Primus and Telstra.