NBN Co, the company overseeing the construction and management of Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN), has published a timeline for the switchover from copper services in 15 locations. Announcing that the countdown had begun for the migration of services to the fibre-based network, NBN Co noted that residents in areas covering approximately 25,000 homes and businesses will move across to the new infrastructure over an 18-month period, beginning 23 November 2012. The public-private operator has also confirmed that it will provide information during the switchover period detailing the actions that customers can take to migrate their connections to the NBN, and at the end of the 18-month period existing copper-based fixed lines and broadband services running across them will be turned off.
Jim Hassell, NBN Co’s Head of Product Management and Industry Relations, said that residents were being encouraged to make an early switch in order to maximise the benefits of the in-deployment fibre infrastructure. ‘To make the switch, residents simply call their preferred telephone or internet service provider to choose from a great range of competitively-priced packages on the NBN,’ the executive noted, adding: ‘There is no need to wait until the last minute.’ Meanwhile, NBN Co Chief Communications Officer Kieren Cooney said: ‘A comprehensive communications programme is underway to inform people of the easy steps they need to take to switchover. We also expect that telephone and internet providers will be very active in their communications.’
In making the announcement NBN Co said that around 45 telephone and internet service providers have now signed up to offer services over the NBN, while claiming that in some areas of the country people will have a choice of as many as 30 providers.
The list of locations for which NBN Co has issued a timeframe for the copper switch-off are: Armidale and Kiama, in New South Wales; Brunswick and South Morang (Victoria); Delorain, Kingston Beach, Triabunna, Sorell, St Helens and George Town (Tasmania); Townsville (Queensland); and Willunga (South Australia).