Varying reports of NBN Co connection speeds, drawn-out delivery timeframes and all-round political shilly-shally have cultivated a healthy amount of scepticism in most of us. So much so that the following announcement arrived this week with a bit of a jolt:
"More than 200,000 Australian homes and businesses will able to take advantage of fast and reliable broadband sooner than expected, with these areas previously not earmarked to receive the NBN in the coming 12 months," NBN Co chief customer officer John Simon said in a statement.
Not ones to question this refreshing narrative, we just wanted to know which areas had made the cut. The ‘promised land’ includes suburbs within the Newcastle, lake Macquarie and Central Coast local government areas (LGA’s) in NSW and Wide Bay Burnett and Great Brisbane and Moreton Bay LGA’s in QLD. View the full list here.
Because we are an IT company and ‘know about the internet and computers’ our inboxes are brimming with emails on the order of – “When will I get it, what speed can I really expect and what will the NBN let me do that I couldn’t do before?”
When will the NBN reach me?
Unless you are one of the locations listed above, the best we can do is point you in the direction of the NBN rollout map – a clairvoyant could also be a solid option.
What speed can I expect?
In Australia, approximately 9.9 million premises (91 per cent) have access to fixed line broadband services delivered via ADSL technology (Australian Government Department of Communication Report 2013) so we’ll use that in a comparison…
In theory, an ADSL connection could be likened to a two lane highway and the NBN a six lane. Both have the potential to receive heavy traffic, however the six lane highway is better able to keep things moving and therefore should always be faster.
So the NBN is a superhighway?
The key word in ‘National Broadband Network’, is Network.
While the fibre-optic cables (six lane highways) delivered as part of the NBN are significantly quicker than existing infrastructure such as ADSL, the new NBN infrastructure will still need to plug in to existing telecommunications Points of Interconnect (PoI’s), which allow individual carriers eg. Telstra and Optus to connect to the NBN. Once your data reaches a carrier’s network, NBN no longer provides the road, which means you may end up on that familiar two lane highway. Honk honk!
Connecting Australia to the world-wide-web
Wanna skype your mate in London, stream the latest Game of Thrones episode or video conference with your offshore office? Our great southern land is largely connected to the rest of the globe by four giant cables off Perth, Sydney and Brisbane. You guessed it – NBN doesn’t control these either, which means you may again end up on a two lane highway.
So I’ve been waiting since 2009 for no reason?
If you already have a reasonable ADSL connection then yeah…kinda.
While the NBN will significantly upgrade parts of the network, overall speeds may be ratcheted down by carrier infrastructure and offshore cables. Your speed will depend on what you get up to online. The good news is that many of us already have sufficient bandwidth to leverage oh-so-hot Cloud technologies and the like. So dilly dally no more, technology is helping businesses of every size realise unprecedented success - tap in!