When Sam Coupland moved to Armidale with his family late last year he got a rude shock.
He found that the lifestyle block they'd moved to didn't have an internet connection - a service he'd taken for granted in Sydney. "For some reason we were in a black spot, we were just a kilometre or so outside the range of the exchange," he says.
You've been looking at building your dream home, on a perfect block of land that's part of a new development and it's been advertised as 'NBN Fibre Ready' when you move in.
Is this too good to be true?
Actually, it isn't.
All premises in new developments of 100 premises or more, where an agreement has been signed between the developer and NBN Co, should be 'NBN Fibre Ready' when residents move in.
If the area you live and work in is connected to fibre broadband via the National Broadband Network, you might have noticed some small cabinets on the roadside.
These are Fibre Distribution Hubs, and are like intersections where traffic branches off a main road and travels down smaller local streets to your home or business.
Fibre Distribution Hubs (or FDHs) are unpowered, street-side cabinets used to provide a connection point between the larger distribution network and the local fibre network which ultimately leads to your home.
Each one can connect between 288 and 576 homes or businesses to the network, but NBN Co is leaving spare capacity in each cabinet to allow for more connections in the future as demand grows when cities and suburbs become more densely populated. Most are coloured beige and are about 1 metre high, you might spot them on a curb, a nature strip or a path.
As the rollout of the National Broadband Network picks up pace, demand for the cabinets is increasing and Corning Cable Systems Australia, which manufactures them on behalf of NBN Co today opened a new manufacturing facility in Melbourne.
The new facility, at Corning's Clayton site, is part of a $40 million local investment by Corning in additional production capacity.
Growing fruit might seem like a simple proposition, but Han Shoing Siah expects connecting to the National Broadband Network will lead to significant benefits for his tropical fruit business.
Siah was quick to sign up for fixed wireless broadband when it went on offer and in fact was the first person in the Northern Territory to receive the service, which was connected in early April.
His family business, Tropical Primary Products, grows mangoes, jackfruit, durian and pomelo at their farm about 60km out of Darwin, and Siah expects several benefits from the video conferencing that the faster services over the NBN will allow.
Wed 10 AprComment
In my 15 years as a school teacher, I've witnessed many changes to the way we teach in the classroom.
The most profound transformation has been the emergence of digital technology and the availability of high speed, reliable broadband that has empowered PLC Armidale to expand our students' learning opportunities far beyond the four walls of the classroom.
Students now have the opportunity to learn directly from field experts like Dr Bridget Murphy of University of NSW, pictured above giving a lesson in medical pathology using broadband over the NBN.
They can also interact and collaborate with other students who could be based anywhere in Australia, or the world, all without setting foot outside of our school campus in regional NSW.