Melbourne NBN fibre to the node trial stalled on power deal

Melbourne NBN fibre to the node trial stalled on power deal

Summary: As Telstra begins planning and design work for a fibre to the node trial in New South Wales and Queensland, the Victorian trial remains stalled.


A trial of fibre to the node technology in Melbourne remains stalled, despite Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull announcing NBN Co and Telstra had signed a deal for 206,000 premises across regional Queensland and New South Wales to be connected to the NBN by fibre to the node.

As part of the shift to the multi-technology mix model proposed by the new Coalition government, NBN Co first announced its fibre-to-the-node pilot in February, with the company planning on accessing Telstra's spare copper pairs in Umina in New South Wales, and Epping in Victoria serving up to 100 premises each in a trial that was set to commence at the start of May, and run until the end of October.

Yesterday, Turnbull announced that NBN Co and Telstra had entered an agreement that will see the incumbent telco design and construct a fibre to the node trial out to 1,000 nodes and 206,0000 premises across 11 regional towns in Queensland and New South Wales.

Umina was included in the wide-scale trial, but the trial in Epping has still yet to start.

In Senate Estimates last month, NBN Co chief operations officer Greg Adcock explained that a delay in the Epping trial was due to power supply issues for the nodes.

"The Epping trial in Victoria has slowed down a bit, while we work with the utility there to find a power solution. We're working through that," he said.

Close to a month later, a spokesperson for NBN Co told ZDNet that discussions with a utility in Victoria to gain sufficient power supply for the nodes were still "ongoing" with no timeline provided for where the trial will commence.

In the other locations, Telstra taking on the design and construction will see the 206,000 premises passed by fibre to the node in 12 months, Turnbull told ZDNet.

"Working with the incumbent telco to build the network isn't revolutionary. It's happening in just about every other market," he said.

"We just want to get the thing built. That's the bottom line — with Telstra you're going to get it built a lot sooner."

Topics: NBN, Government, Government AU


Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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  • Forget anything else?

    1000 fttn with no power?. Question, is there a 1000 customers to be connected in the area?
    Or did they forget about that as well?.
    Stupid #1 gone , now stupid #2 in charge. Things are worse...
  • Why is this unexpected?

    Before the election, when the fully costed ready to go plan was announced, many suggested that power supply would be a significant delay for nodes.

    When you only allow "selective" input from experts you have to expect a slower and poorer network (which we will now get)
    Paul Krueger
  • ... Can't seriously take this subject anymore!

    How many nodes have been built?
    How much remediation has been done?
    How many nodes connected and passed electricity grids?
    At what cost to the tax payer electricity grids have to be built and maintained by the utility companies to power ACTIVE EQUIPMENT INCLUDING NODES?
    How many nodes have been approved by Malcolm Turnbull?
    How much backhaul does these nodes have?
    Can you upgrade to FTTP at little to no extra cost, most studies done in UK or elsewhere are quiet happy to upgrade to FTTP for something like ~$1000 as reasonable.
    Will Copper will be replaced with copper?
    Will crap copper be replaced with FTTP?
    Will we be guaranteed any decent speeds and not the BT crappy one? Where anything over certain speed or percentage is ok, so the customer is screwed? Will ACCC and TIO be even more toothless tigers in this regard?
    Will we continue to increase new slower plan speeds in response to congestion? Because Malcolm Turnbull and Liberal governments are always tight asses? Or will they actually do something this time, unlike the last liberal government who owned the Telstra network, before they sold the damn thing?
    Why are we throwing good money after bad(aka Copper?).
  • Telstra...Sooner??? LOL!

    More likely just more expensive for the consumer when they eventually get around to it.
    NBN Co's website tells me Fixed Wireless Now Active at my address & that Telstra is one of 4 providers to contact for my area.
    Contacted Telstra only to be informed No "NBN Service available here, only ADSL1."
    Once again someone is telling fibs.
  • Then vs Now

    Last year, when there were fibre rollout problems, asbestos problems and the like, the Liberals relentlessly blasted Labor using terms like "farcical", "wasteful" and the like. Now the Libs have the reins, and they just have "unforeseen delays". Love the hypocrisy.