nbn is aiming to have completed almost half of its broadband network by 30 June 2017.
By the end of the 2016/17 financial year, nbn is targeting a total footprint of 5.4 million homes and businesses.
The network build is accelerating, with 277,000 homes added to the footprint in December 2016 alone.
The number of people able to connect will expand to 9 million homes by June 2018, with the end of the rollout then in sight.
The next 12 months will be significant in terms of scale for both the number of people who can access the nbn network and the number of paying customers.
To date more than 70 per cent of nbn’s rollout has happened in regional and rural areas, and 2017 will see more construction commence in metropolitan areas along with continued work across the country.
nbn CEO, Bill Morrow said, “Mid-way through the year, half the nbn network will be completed. This will be a significant turning point as we aim to finish the build by 2020 and become the first fully-connected continent in the world.
“We have developed strong foundations, processes and systems, and this year we will be opening up the nbn network to new regions, including many metro areas for the first time.
“The intensified deployment will present challenges but the nbn team, along with our partners and retailers, is focused on a positive experience for customers and end users as we accelerate the build and connection rates to new records.”
With the rapid pace of the build, nbn faces the additional challenge this year of deploying the NBN network into the higher density metro-areas where access to pits and existing infrastructure becomes more difficult.
This may mean disruption from civil works, visible for the first time in cities.
“As the NBN network rolls out into cities we will be met with new problems to solve,” Mr Morrow said.
“We understand there will be some disruption for residents and business owners as the 14,000 people working across nbn and our delivery partners complete the task as soon as possible.”
“The payoff will be worth it, with universal connectivity delivering health, commerce, education and lifestyle benefits to all Australians.”
Some of the metropolitan areas where construction will begin or switch on in 2017 include:
- New South Wales: City of Sydney, Campbelltown, Warringah, Randwick, Hills District
- Victoria: Boroondara City, Casey City, Glen Eira City, Knox City, Moonee Valley City
- Queensland: Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast
- South Australia: Onkaparinga, Salisbury
- Western Australia: Fremantle, Bassendean
- Tasmania: Hobart, Devonport