National Broadband Network goes live in Melbourne

Prime Minister switches on network in Brunswick area

The National Broadband Network came to Melbourne this morning with the inner city suburb of Brunswick becoming the first metropolitan area in Australia to receive superfast* fibre-based broadband.

Prime Minister the Hon Julia Gillard MP switched on the network at a ceremony at the Brunswick Town Hall.

The suburb is the third and latest mainland test site to receive the fibre optic-enabled NBN. The fibre network in Brunswick covers approximately 2,689 premises; residents in more than half of these premises consented to having a connection to make their premises “NBN ready”.

The trial phase is due to run until late September, after which residents in the Brunswick fibre coverage area are expected to be able to order broadband services over the NBN from retail service providers. To date fourteen customers have been connected as part of the trial in Brunswick, with more service activations in the queue.

More than 700 homes and businesses across Australia are now connected to the NBN as part of the trials, including 114 on the mainland. The network trial is up and running in Kiama on the NSW South Coast, in Armidale in the Central West of NSW and in the Tasmanian communities of Smithton, Scottsdale and Midway Point. Construction is underway in seven additional sites in Tasmania and the proposed timetable for the rollout of fibre in nine new sites in NSW, Queensland and the ACT was announced this week.

NBN Co Chairman, Harrison Young, said:

“The launch today of the NBN in Brunswick and new construction activity we’ve announced are the latest steps towards delivery of a crucial piece of nation-building infrastructure. The National Broadband Network has the potential to deliver genuine competition in telecommunications and benefit Australian homes, businesses, schools and hospitals for decades to come.”

Work on the NBN in Brunswick began in October 2010 with construction partner Telstra accessing its existing underground infrastructure in order to help minimise the impact of the rollout on the local community. The project also benefited from the close cooperation of Moreland City Council and Mayor Oscar Yildiz.

So far 19 retail service providers have signed up to participate in the NBN trial phase, with 10 having passed through NBN Co’s certification process in readiness to test services. They are: AAPT, Adam Internet, Exetel, iiNet, Internode, Nextgen Networks, Optus, Platform Networks, Primus and Telstra.

*The speeds actually experienced by end-users will depend on a number of factors including the retail broadband plan they choose, their equipment and their in-premises connection.