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NBN only available at one third of rentals: Rent.com.au

Despite news that the NBN is now available at half of all Australian premises, Rent.com.au says just one third of rental properties in most states have access to the broadband service.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Rent.com.au has responded to news that half of all Australian premises can now order a National Broadband Network (NBN) service by saying that only around one third of all its rental properties have access to the broadband network.

As of the end of June, NBN services were available at just 31 percent of Rent's rental premises in the Australian Capital Territory; 32 percent in Victoria; 35 percent in Queensland and Western Australia; 36 percent in New South Wales; and 37 percent in South Australia.

Only Tasmania and the Northern Territory -- two of the earliest NBN rollout areas -- at 80 percent and 92 percent, respectively, are above the one-third mark.

Rental properties in Queensland still won't reach the halfway point by the end of this year; Rent is predicting that only an additional 14 percent will gain access to NBN, bringing the state's total to 49 percent.

All other states and territories will surpass 50 percent by the end of the year, however, with Rent forecasting that NBN services will be available at an additional 22 percent of ACT rental properties; an additional 19 percent in NSW; an additional 25 percent in South Australia; an additional 19 percent in Victoria; and an additional 20 percent of Western Australia rental premises.

In total, Rent has around 70,000 monthly listings, all of which it is able to check the NBN availability status on.

"There have been improvements over the quarter in availability, with some good growth in smaller states, but it's still a hard slog in the bigger ones," Rent CEO Greg Bader said.

"Flat or slightly negative rates in availability by the end of 2017 indicates slippage by the NBN. At the end of this year, our largest states will only have around half of our homes connected."

NBN had earlier on Monday declared that more than half of all Australian premises are able to order an NBN service.

"The rollout of the National Broadband Network has surpassed the halfway mark ahead of schedule and ahead of budget, meaning more than 50 percent of Australian homes and businesses can now access fast, affordable high-speed broadband," Australian Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said.

"The rollout remains on track and will be available to every home and business across Australia by 2020."

Fifield also claimed on Monday that the majority of NBN users across all technologies have had a positive experience.

"The NBN experience for a majority of people has been a good one," Fifield told media on Monday morning.

"Fibre to the node is a good product, and an overwhelming majority of people on fibre to the node have a good experience. People on HFC have a good experience; people with fixed-wireless have a good experience; people with satellite overwhelmingly are having a good experience.

"This is a major project. There will obviously be a percentage of experiences in the rollout which aren't perfect, but NBN is working day by day to improve that experience."

Fifield's comments came in spite of NBN CEO Bill Morrow last month revealing that the company is looking into several options to improve its satellite connections after requests from both Fifield and Regional Communications Minister Fiona Nash following widespread complaints about congestion and slow speeds.

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