nbn, the company overseeing the construction of Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN), has said it is ‘gearing up to deliver its biggest year yet’, and now aims to have reached the half-way point of the project by 30 June 2017.
In a press release outlining its upcoming plans, nbn revealed it is targeting a total footprint of 5.4 million premises by mid-2017, while noting that its network build is currently accelerating, with 277,000 premises added last month alone. Looking further ahead, it anticipates that some nine million premises will have been covered by June 2018.
With regards to the areas targeted for coverage expansion, nbn highlighted that to date more than 70% of its rollout has taken place in regional and rural areas. However, this year it expects to see more construction get underway in metropolitan areas, albeit it that it anticipates this will bring additional challenges, due to access to pits and existing infrastructure in higher-density metro zones being more difficult in such areas. Among the metropolitan locations where the company will either begin construction or switch on its network are: Sydney, Brisbane, Fremantle and Hobart.
nbn CEO, Bill Morrow said of the project’s expected progress: ‘Mid-way through the year, half the [NBN] will be completed. This will be a significant turning point as we aim to finish the build by 2020 and become the first fully-connected continent in the world … We have developed strong foundations, processes and systems, and this year we will be opening up the [NBN] to new regions, including many metro areas for the first time.’