Australia’s NBN Co has announced that it is starting work this week to extend fibre deeper into communities in selected metropolitan and regional areas of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia. In a press release regarding the matter, the company said that its initial extension of fibre will pass more than 100,000 premises in areas currently serviced by fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) technology. The extension of fibre to serve these 100,000 additional premises will cover parts of the following towns and suburbs: Belmont North, Charlestown, Toronto, Carramar, Castle Hill, Holsworthy, Liverpool, and Wetherill Park in New South Wales; Lyndhurst and Narre Warren in Victoria; Acacia Ridge, Browns Plains, Eight Mile Plains and Oxenford in Queensland; Osborne in South Australia, and Cannington and Double View in Western Australia.
According to NBN Co, the work programme outlined above represents ‘approximately 5% of [its] Local Fibre Network build programme’. It also said it marks the start of the operator’s AUD4.5 billion (USD3.2 billion) network investment programme, under which it aims to make it highest wholesale speed tiers available, ‘as demand arises’, to around eight million premises by 2023.
Alongside the fibre-related development, NBN Co has also issued an update on its HFC network upgrade programme, claiming to have made ‘good progress’ in this regard. Specifically, the wholesale operator has said that, since launching its ‘Home Fast’ (which offers downlink speeds of up to 100Mbps), ‘Home Superfast’ (250Mbps) and ‘Home Ultrafast’ (‘500Mbps to close to 1Tbps’) wholesale speed tiers in May 2020, 100% of customers connected via HFC have now gained access to Home Fast. Meanwhile, around 70% are now able to order the Home Superfast service, with approximately 7% in the HFC footprint having access to the Home Ultrafast product. NBN Co has, however, said it is working to ensure that by the end of November 2020 more than 25% of premises in the HFC footprint will be able to order Home Ultrafast, while by June 2021 it expects more than two-thirds of premises in the HFC network footprint to be able to order that service, rising to ‘nearly the entire HFC network footprint’ by end-2021.