It’s a $4.5 billion investment that will roll out more fibre and more capacity across the NBN network promising around 75% of fixed-line premises access to Gigabit speeds.
Federal Communications Minister Paul Fletcher made the announcement hours before the NBN reveal their new corporate plan which will outline new targets and plans for the national infrastructure network over the next five years.
There’s no government funds being used, instead the NBN will fund the investment through new private debt, a sign that NBN’s revenues are at a point where credit is obtainable at this level.
Minister Fletcher said “The 2013 decision by the Coalition to roll out the NBN quickly, then phase upgrades around emerging demand, has served Australia well. It meant the NBN was available to almost all Australians when COVID-19 hit, giving us high speed home connectivity when we needed it most.
“And it means NBN Co is now well placed to invest in Australia’s broadband infrastructure to meet Australians’ growing appetite for faster speeds,” Minister Fletcher said.
Of the $4.5 billion, $3.5 billion is to make the highest speed tiers available to up to 75% of homes on the fixed network within three years.
This will include running fibre deeper into FttN (Fibre to the Node) areas, enabling Gigabit speeds.
As well as that, the entire HFC network will have increased capacity, allowing for Gigabit and FttC areas will be services to ensure consistent delivery of 1Gbps speeds.
There is also a note within the Minister’s announcement noting a “line speed uplift program by resolving in-home cabling issues for premises on the FTTN network” – if that means NBN contractors doing the work to fix in home wiring then that’s a huge win for consumers.
The detail of the plan will be in part included in the NBN’s new corporate plan to be released later today.
Questions that remain are:
How much demand is required in an FttN suburb for the Fibre upgrade to happen?
Will all homes be upgraded to FttP or will individual homes get FttP or FttC?
Who pays for the upgrade?
We will update throughout the day.