NBN Co, the company building and operating Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN), has announced that it is making more information available regarding the progress of the infrastructure rollout. To that end, via an interactive rollout map on its website the company now displays a list of communities in the fixed line footprint where ‘Build Preparation’ is underway; this signifies that contractors in built-up (or brownfields) areas are carrying out pre-construction activities – for instance readying Telstra’s pits and pipes for use by NBN Co – ahead of the physical construction of the NBN. Commenting on the development, NBN Co chief operating officer Greg Adcock noted: ‘We are stabilising the NBN rollout and have reviewed the underlying data. That gives us the confidence to be able to provide greater clarity about work underway across Australia.’
According to the latest data, ‘Build Preparation’ is currently underway for approximately 167,000 homes and businesses in the NBN brownfields footprint, while construction contracts for the physical build of the network (‘Build Commenced’) have been issued for a further 290,000 brownfields premises. Meanwhile, NBN Co confirmed that there are now 195,000 premises with an active NBN connection across all access technologies (fibre, satellite and fixed-wireless broadband).
In addition, with NBN Co having also published its latest weekly progress report, the company has confirmed that it has surpassed the revised target of 357,000 brownfield premises passed with fibre; this target was set by the NBN Co’s Strategic Review published in December 2013. As per the most recent data, at 1 June 2014 the NBN passed 363,542 brownfield premises with fibre, while at that date a further 104,585 greenfield premises were within the network footprint. However, the documentation notes that 98,072 of the aforementioned brownfield premises are actually unable to order a service; these are referred to as Service Class Zero, which NBN Co describes as ‘premises passed by the active network, but for which a service cannot currently be ordered from a telephone or internet service provider because additional work is required, for example because there is cabling required for an apartment block’. In addition, 43,318 premises were able to access NBN Co’s satellite-based services, with a further 89,693 within reach of fixed-wireless broadband connectivity.