With the National Broadband Network (NBN) expected to reach a peak in its rollout in 2016, some areas around Australia are already connected to the network via fibre-to-the-premises, fixed wireless and an interim satellite service.
The NBN was announced in April 2009, with an initial cost of $43 billion. The first three towns to be connected to the network were located in Tasmania, the testing ground for the network.
Trials of the network are still ongoing, with NBN Co offering a free trial of its fixed wireless network for six months from April 2012 in Armidale, Tamworth and Toowoomba.
"The trial period for the fixed wireless service is designed to verify satisfactory customer experience of the new service prior to it becoming fully commercial in October this year," NBN Co told Computerworld Australia.
While NBN Co is not charging RSPs to access the fixed wireless service, NBN Co said service providers may incur costs in setting up the retail product and it was up to individual companies as to whether these costs were passed on to customers or not.
"NBN Co does not impose restrictions during the trial period on whether service providers charge end-users or not," the company said.
Computerworld Australia lists the areas where construction for the NBN has been completed and residents can sign up for NBN plans.
- Kalynda Chase Estate
- North Shore
Townsville, which was part of the first release sites on the mainland, had been marred by a mini tornado and there were disputes over where to locate the initial fibre rollout. However, the NBN was switched on in the area in September 2011.
It was the fourth site on mainland Australia to be connected to the NBN, with around 3100 premises to be covered by the NBN and 60.8 per cent of residents consenting to an NBN connection.
- Park Precinct
- Chelsea Apartments
- Bergins Rise
- Brentwood Rise
- Cunningham Rise
- Grantham Rebuild Project
- McInnes Field
- The Promenade
- Darling Heights
- East Greenmount
- Gowrie Junction
- Gowrie Mountain
- Kearneys Spring
- Meringandan West
- Mount Kynoch
- Mount Rascal
- Postmans Ridge
- Scrubby Mountain
- Vale View
Toowoomba was part of the second set of release sites for the NBN, which was announced in July 2010. The rollout in Toowoomba underwent a delay due to protracted negotiations with the $11 billion deal between NBN Co and Telstra. It was also reported that cable for the NBN had been mauled by rats.
The network was switched on in September 2011. Residents were given a free trial of the fixed wireless network for six months in January this year. NBN Co announced in June this year that 12 retail service providers were offering NBN plans in the area.