Internode has connected its first customer in Tasmania to the National Broadband Network on a 50Mbps service.
Midway point resident, IT technician Robert Pettman, had his NBN Tasmania-backed Internode service go live at about 5pm yesterday, the company said. Pettman had applied for the service in June.
"It's a major speed increase on what I had before, which was a 1.5Mbps ADSL service," Pettman said. "Since it went live about 5pm, I've done speed tests and have seen a few peaks of 80Mbps, although it mostly hovers around 50Mbps, which is what I ordered."
"An example of how this helps me is one site I visit regularly that contains high resolution photos, which usually takes around 25 seconds to load. With the new service, it was on-screen instantly. Also, I sometimes use the internet to connect in to my office remotely. I worked from home yesterday and it was fairly slow. I don't think I'll have any problems now."
His service is supposed to operate at around 4Mbps for uplink, but Pettman has been achieving peaks of 6 to 7Mbps, according to Internode spokesperson John Harris.
"In future, I'm really interested in what will happen with IPTV [Internet Protocol Television] services. I have a media centre that records free-to-air TV, so I'm quite excited to see what will happen in that space. Also, I'm planning to buy a home theatre system with an internet connectivity setting, so I can watch YouTube movies on TV," Pettman said.
Pettman was posting last night on Whirlpool about his connection, according to Harris.
"Well guys my NBN connection is LIVE :) and it absolutely flys!!!!" wrote one poster called "Bob", seemingly Pettman, said.
"Ahhh I do believe this would be the 1st [Whirlpool] post from the NBN (Home user anyway :P) correct me if I am wrong, do I get some kind of prize???" he asked.
The Federal Government and NBN Co have for some time been promising that the first customers on the NBN will receive services from July of this year. But even as late as Monday, Conroy and NBN Co chief Mike Quigley were unable to name a precise date for the landmark first connections to go live.
Quigley reiterated on Monday that the first NBN services would be delivered in the "early part of July", while Conroy said the "July" commitment had been subject to former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's diary and would now be subject to the diary of new Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Conroy said the date would be "in the first couple of weeks in July without any problems at all".
Internode product manager Jim Kellett said the company had received strong demand from people living in the three areas covered by the NBN pilot program. "We've deliberately offered a service that is better priced than ADSL so that people have a real incentive to test out this new service," he said. "We want to use this opportunity to discover how people use fast internet services when they are not constrained by either price or speed."