Construction has begun to connect almost 166,000 homes and business premises to the high-speed national broadband network, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has announced.
The federal government has released roll-out maps for 40 areas, covering 165,800 premises in NSW, Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, and the Northern Territory.
The bulk of the new planned connections wiill be in the eastern states, including NSW, Queensland, and Victoria, barring the ACT.
The government-owned network builder NBN Co is on target to have completed or begun construction on 758,000 premises by the end of 2012, Conroy said in a statement.
"People who live or do business in these areas will be able to connect to the fast, reliable, and affordable broadband provided by the NBN, in around 12 months," he said.
Under Labor's AU$37.4 billion plan, NBN Co will deliver high-speed fibre optic cable broadband services to 93 percent of Australian homes, schools, and businesses by 2021, with the rest to be serviced by fixed wireless and satellite technologies.
The Department of Broadband, Communications, and the Digital Economy revealed in its annual report, which released last week, that the cost for cancelling NBN contracts will cost AU$2.3 billion.