NBN Co, the public-private entity overseeing the rollout and management of Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN), has revealed that it intends to launch a 1Gbps wholesale product before the end of 2013. The company has confirmed that internet service providers (ISPs) will be able to place orders for the new superfast service from December 2013, allowing them to develop retail plans offering downlink speeds of 1Gbps. NBN Co has noted that progress with the rollout, coupled with ongoing developments in IT, mean that it now has the capacity to make the new products available. In making the announcement NBN Co detailed three new plans that will be offered, with the lowest level service offering a 250Mbps/100Mbps download/upload connection for a wholesale access price of AUD70 (USD73) per month. The top-level option, which will provide 1Gbps downlink speeds and 400Mbps uplink speeds, will carry an AUD150 monthly wholesale access fee.
Commenting on the development, NBN Co’s head of product and sales, John Simon, noted that the fibre infrastructure had been built with 1Gbps speeds in mind, adding that the network is capable of supporting even higher speeds in the future. With regards to the potential uptake of such services, Mr Simon said: ‘We are confident there will be a healthy market for higher speed tiers … In Australia, around a third of homes in the fibre footprint have signed up to the NBN in neighbourhoods where it’s been up and running for twelve months … A third of fibre users already subscribe to the fastest speeds available.’