• The Fibre Connect program of NBN Co was already launched and the operator started taking orders for its FTTN-FTTP program.
  • FTTC will be able to scale up a lot quicker since the existing fibre terminates much nearer to the premises of end-users.
  • In terms of FTTN and FTTC, the operator forecasts that by the end of 2023, some 3.5 million additional premises will be eligible for Home Ultrafast via on-demand upgrades.

FTTN Upgrades Now Available with the Launch of NBN’s Fibre Connect, FTTC Available Beginning May

The Fibre Connect program of NBN Co was already launched and the operator started taking orders for its FTTN-FTTP program. Its FTTC-to-FTTP program is set to begin in May.

There are around 50,000 FTTN premises eligible to be upgraded as soon as the wholesaler receives an order from a participating RSP for a Home Fast, Home Superfast, or Home Ultrafast service. This number is said to grow to 230,000 premises in the middle of the year and 600,000 by the end of the year.

According to chief customer officer Brad Whitcomb, COVID-19 and floods had a minimal impact on preparations for the launch. “Quite a lot of that heavy lifting in terms of building the fibre into the neighbourhoods has been ongoing during that time,” he said.

The initial launch footprint is “just a hair over 50,000,” Whitcomb added, with the operator intending to release an additional 60,000 eligible premises every month. 

Still, according to Whitcomb, FTTC will be able to scale up a lot quicker since the existing fibre terminates much nearer to the premises of end-users. “Typically, the fibre already is much closer to the customer’s location, so that the footprint itself will ramp faster than the FTTN footprint,” he said.

The initial suburb eligibility for that offer would be based on a “fulsome set of criteria,” Whitcomb added. “We’re looking at where there’s customer demand, that’s a big piece of it,” he further said.

Whitcomb proceeded by saying “For instance, on the FTTN program to be eligible for that fibre connection, it really does require ordering a higher speed service.”

He also added that the criteria included other factors such as the impact on the community, the speed and cost of deployment, the reliability of existing services, as well as the opex for the existing technology of the operator. 

According to Whitcomb, in terms of FTTN and FTTC, the operator forecasts that by the end of 2023, some 3.5 million additional premises will be eligible for Home Ultrafast via on-demand upgrades.

He said, “But on top of that, we’ve got two million FTTP that can do that today. We’ve got 95% of all of the HFC customers that can order our Ultrafast service as well, which is about another 2.4 million prem. So this in itself is super exciting, but it’s just one component in how we’re moving up the overall speed... By the end of 2023, about 75% of all customers that are served by the NBN fixed-line network are going to be able to get those services of nearly a gigabit per second, which is super exciting.”

 

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