NBN mainland trial sites announced

Communications Minister says he will consider Telstra's concerns that NBN Co Exposure Draft Legislation could set NBN Co up as a retailer and wholesaler

The map of the Brunswick trial area.

The map of the Brunswick trial area.

The first five sites where the high-speed broadband fibre-to-the premises national broadband network will be rolled out as part of live trials have been announced.

Speaking at a media conference in Sydney, NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley said the trials would validate network design, construction and installation techniques to test the requirements of the NBN across a range of different geographies and climates.

The sites, Quigley said, had also been selected based on their demographics and ability to support a sample pool of at least 3000 premises.

The first site, Brunswick in Melbourne, will have around 2600 premises connected as part of the trial.

Townsville in Queensland will have around 3100 premises connected, while Minnamurra and Kiama on the South Coast of NSW, will have around 2600 premises connected.

An area in west Armidale in NSW, including the university of new England will connect around 2900 premises.

The rural town of Willunga in South Australia will have around 1000 premises connected.

Quigley said that NBN Co would now issue a request for proposal to do the detail design work on each of the trial sites.

This would be followed up in a number of months by a request for tender to identify providers to construct the passive, then active elements of the NBN at these sites.

Following the design phase, construction work on the first release rollout is expected to start early in the second half of the year and be complete by early 2011.

This would be followed by a tender for retail providers of high speed broadband over the built NBN infrastructure, Quigley said.

Commenting on Telstra’s letter to shareholders this morning, Minster for Broadband, Communication and the Digital Economy, Stephen Conroy, said the Government would consider Telstra’s concerns over the legislation’s potential to set the NBN Co up as a retail and wholesale high speed broadband supplier.

“The reason we issued a draft proposal was to get industry comment… we look forward to robust comment,” he said.

“Telstra’s share price went below three dollars before this bill [was issued],” Conroy said responding to questions around whether the Draft Legislation had excessively affected Telstra’s share price.

“Mike (Quigley) and I are engaged constantly with Telstra in dialogue. I don’t believe there are any games being played at all. The negotiations are extraordinarily complex,” he added commenting on the state of current negotiations with Telstra over the split of the company.

Quigley added that recent spectulation that the retail prices of NBN services would far higher than current broadband pricing was "ridiculous".

"We will be pricing at market to be competitive to get people on to the network," he said.

More information on the test sites is available online

Tags nbn coSenator Stephen ConroyNBNMike Quigley

More about etworkExposureQuigleyTelstra Corporation

9 Comments

Peter Manuel

1

To stop the run down of the Telstra share price. The Government should ageree to buy back all Telstra Shares at $4.00 per share.

Alternatively, the Government should agree to a 50% partnership with Telstra and build an improved Braodband Network.

The Government is not qualified technically to own and operate a competitor to existing Broadband providers.

Signed Peter Manuel
Economist (retired)

Peter Manuel

2

Since when did the Government have Parliamentary approval to roll out an NBN service.

Where are the approved costings, or feasability studies?

Signed Peter Manuel
Economist (retired)

Sydney Lawrence

3

Hang around folks for the greatest Government f***up (foul-up) ever seen in the history of Australia.

A 43 thousand million dollar dream without a detailed business plan. Firstly Conroy tells us his NBN will be a wholesale only supplier and his plan is to break-up Telstra as it is an unacceptable vertically integrated company.

Now he tells us that he plans his NBN Co to be a vertically integrated monopoly that will brook no competition. Mr Rudd might think the insulation exercise was a disaster but it will be a picnic compared to the NBN white elephant disaster.

Matt

4

What a surprise.

Admittedly, the ALP are looking safe this time around however Willunga is in the most marginal seat in SA (traditionally) - Kingston - and this announcement comes just in time for the impending election...

Willunga's exchange is already ADSL2 enabled (Telstra) and I know two households there with better sync than my house in the suburbs.

bryan

5

Link to google map of this area

http://maps.google.com.au/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&q=Royal+Parade,+Parkville+Victoria+3052&sll=-37.827578,145.020347&sspn=0.007559,0.01929&ie=UTF8&cd=1&geocode=FeJiv_0dsOWjCA&split=0&hq=&hnear=Royal+Parade,+Parkville+Victoria+3052&ll=-37.76946,144.968762&spn=0.01513,0.038581&z=15

Matt

6

No surprise, WA to miss out.

Tenoq

7

All I can say is...WTF.

Brunswick, Victoria!?!?!?! WHY!

Brunswick already has high-speed ADSL2+ from Agile (Internode), Chime (iiNet), TPG, Optus, Primus and of course Telstra. Why on earth would you upgrade THAT area first, when it already has cheap ASDL2+??

Surely it makes sense to start in a suburb that doesn't have decent broadband and is stuck paying $100+ for ADSL2+ via Telstra. At least then people might be interested in switching.

Realist

8

Willunga rural? It's a town surrounded by vineyards, but it is classified as metropolitan Adelaide.

I guess it wouldn't have anything to do with getting marginal Labor MP Leon Bignell re-elected in his traditionally Liberal seat of Mawson in the state election on March 20...

bernardos

9

lame im on the other side of sydney road

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