NBN trial kicks off for Townsville

NBN trial kicks off for Townsville

Summary: The National Broadband Network Company (NBN Co) has kicked off services in Townsville, with two Northern Queensland regional local service providers among the first to trial services to customers in the regional town.

TOPICS: NBN, Broadband

The National Broadband Network Company (NBN Co) has kicked off services in Townsville, with two Northern Queensland regional local service providers among the first to trial services to customers in the regional town.

Wholesale aggregator Nextgen networks is reselling the trial services to Townsville-based Internet Solutions and North Queensland Telecom, marking the first case of a telco aggregating NBN services to smaller internet service providers (ISPs).

NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley said that the introduction of aggregators, such as Nextgen Networks would allow smaller telcos to enter the market, where they might not have otherwise have been able to, due to the costs associated with infrastructure.

"This means that small, or even some larger service providers have the potential to enter parts of the telecommunications market with a reduced requirement to invest in their own infrastructure to interconnect with the NBN," he said in a statement.

"Such flexibility has the potential to support a range of wholesale and retail business models, and is expected to facilitate lower barriers to entry for service providers, and to open up competition — both in major centres and in regional areas like North Queensland."

Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan was on hand to mark the launch in Townsville today, which is now the fourth mainland site to have trial services connected. The launch follows similar NBN service kick-offs in Armidale, Kiama and Brunswick. Although Internode already has customers live in Willunga, NBN Co said that it expects to have an official launch soon.

The Townsville roll-out encompasses 3100 premises in the fibre footprint, with 1950 — or 63 per cent — opting to have the fibre connected to their premises. Of this 1950, currently 110 premises are trialling NBN services through AARNet, iiNet, Internode, Nextgen Networks, Primus and Telstra. A full commercial launch for retail services is expected in October.

NBN Co reported today that a total of 1690 premises are now connected to the NBN and receiving services, with 655 in Tasmania, 580 on the mainland for fibre and 455 users on NBN Co's interim satellite service.

The company also indicated that 28 retail service providers have signed on to offer NBN services, 12 of which have now completed NBN Co's on-boarding process.

Topics: NBN, Broadband


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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  • I fear the way Julia is going within the next two years the NBN will never be finished & the rest of Australia will never get the chance to enjoy broadband the way it should be.
    Looks like I'll have to move to Townsville
    • The coalition clowns wouldn't have it any other way.

      Want decent broadband? Solution: move.

      Digital divide ftw!
      Hubert Cumberdale
  • I'm seriously thinking Tasmania is the place to be. With the early start, and more locations announced than anywhere else, there will be far more locations in Tas with NBN fibre come mid 2013 than anywhere else in Australia.

    Quite a few regional towns (very picturesque, too!) and significant swathes of Hobart and Launceston will be covered, or well underway by that date.
  • Turnbull has tipped his hand several times. He has lauded New Zealand's approach to high heaven, but when it boils down their model isn't terribly different from the NBN in terms of rollout.

    The "competition" element there is that different companies will be rolling out FTTP in different regions - to at least 75% of the population (not quite 93%, but still fairly significant). But aside from the different regulatory environment and ownership regime, the eventual result won't be a whole lot different.

    FTTN is a regulatory minefield given Telstra's strong position, and will only be used in limited amounts - probably in multi-unit dwellings and similar. But then, that's been part of the NBN Co plan all along - Fibre to the Basement and VDSL to the premises has been included as an option where old infrastructure and uncooperative bodies corporate prevent fibre reaching every unit.
    • I'm laughing so hard the tears are rolling down my face.

      Australia’s Federal Government is spending about $50 billion, that's ~ $5900 for each of the 8.5 million households and businesses, or ~$3800 for each of the 13.1 million households and businesses with access.

      By contrast the New Zealand government is spending about $900 million, that’s ~ $562 for each of its 1.6 million households.
      • Laughter's the best medicine, sachmo! Glad I could be the one to bring your dose. Drink up, doctor says you need your rest.

        Having your delusions again, have we? Like the one where the actual $27 billion government outlay turns into an imaginary $50 billion, just like that.
        • Current propaganda would have you believing the cost of NBN might be $35 billion – (i.e. with a $27.5 billion govt. contribution). This of course does not include payments of $11 billion to TLS + $0.8 billion to Optus + construction contracts are still being negotiated and blow-outs are almost certainty. The reality is that the final cost is not actually known.
          • The reason they have no idea is that they have refused to do any detailed costing. Imagine if the CEO of BHP said he was going to build a new mine that he thought would cost about $35 billion but didn't think it was worthwhile doing a cost benefit analysis as he was sure that at some time in the future it would work out ok. He would be sacked in about 12 minutes and if by chance he kept his job would probably end up in jail. Someone should shoot Conroy.
            Bert Mill