Twelve initial providers offer NBN fibre optic broadband on mainland

  • Optus, Internode and TPG
  • NBN Test sites underway
  • Speeds up to 8x faster than most ADSL2 plans

The National Broadband Network Company (NBN Co) has released a list of twelve companies intending to offer fibre optic broadband to Australian homes and businesses for the initial mainland release.

Big surprises accompanied the new list of Internet Service Providers (ISPs), as the fourth largest broadband company in Australia, TPG, was not listed, and the third largest provider, Optus, had yet to complete the “on-boarding process” allowing it to provide test services in the first release of the network.

Only four ISPs have completed this process: iiNet, iPrimus, Telstra BigPond and Internode. These four companies are likely to offer the first NBN mainland connections, with West Armidale in regional New South Wales likely to be the first area switched on.

Other mainland locations to follow will be inner city Melbourne’s suburb of Brunswick, Townsville in Queensland, Willunga in South Australia and Kiama Downs/Minamurra on the South Coast of New South Wales. Approximately 12,200 homes and offices will be wired up for the super-fast fibre optic service.

Optus’s inclusion in the initial list of ISPs and wholesale aggregators came as a surprise, as the telecommunications giant has shown reservations about joining the NBN. The list also contains lesser-known, small Retail Service Providers (RSPs), which goes against some commentators’ fears the NBN’s business structuring would faze-out more moderately sized companies.

In a formal statement the NBN Co remarked, "The four initial RSPs working with NBN Co in the test site phase will be running preliminary tests over the network and selecting a limited number of their existing end-users to take part in the trial,”

The eight retailers to follow in the first four’s footsteps will be: Optus, AAPT, Exetel, research network AARNet, SkyMesh, Comscentre, Nextgen Networks and Platform Networks. These companies will be prepared to go ahead when the test phases of the initial NBN sites finish and commercial sales begin.