A new era of broadband service begins in first sites as trial ends
Until now, consumers and businesses have needed to be invited into the trial by their service provider. To date around 800 properties have been connected to the NBN trial, even though NBN Co set a target of 400 connections during the trial period.
NBN Co Head of Product Development and Sales, Jim Hassell said: "The launch of commercial services over the fibre network in the mainland First Release Sites marks a significant milestone for the delivery of the NBN. It is the start of a new era of service and competition as providers begin to offer a range of different plans over our open-access wholesale network.
"It is also an important landmark for NBN Co as we start to generate our first revenue from fibre services. Not only is the NBN a project that will see our national infrastructure upgraded, it is an investment through which revenues are planned to eventually repay the initial outlay and deliver a return to taxpayers."
A number of RSPs have already released their broadband and telephone pricing plans, with a range of plans offering different price points and service levels for broadband, voice and bundled services - and more are expected in the near future.
"The one NBN connection is capable of supporting both a voice and a broadband service so users don't need to pay for separate phone line rental and broadband services.
"Some of the NBN service plans so far released by service providers include free local and national calls for a flat monthly fee, making the telephone component of an NBN service very attractive. Others offer quite low prices for untimed local and national calls as part of their monthly access charge.
"For heavy internet users, there is a range of speed and usage allowances to choose from - so the message is, shop around and make sure you compare both price and service.
"Consumers need to consider their existing telephone and broadband contract arrangements before looking to switch services. Also people living in rented accommodation and/or apartment blocks will need to consider their lease conditions and what approval is needed from bodies corporate and/or landlords.
The National Broadband Network includes the rollout of fibre-based wholesale broadband services capable at launch of offering peak speeds of up to 100Mbps*. It is planned to roll out fibre to 93 per cent of Australian premises, with satellite and fixed wireless to serve the final seven per cent.
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*The speeds actually experienced by end-users will depend on a number of factors including the retail broadband plan they choose, the number of simultaneous users on the service, their equipment and their in-premises connection.