The NBN Co has released its first progress report as required by the Government’s Statement of Expectations to NBN Co. NBN Co plans to release information weekly in this format to show the progress of the rollout as of the previous Sunday.
NBN Co has said that variations in numbers from week to week reflect the modular nature of the construction program. ‘That is construction is completed in blocks, so that there may be large upward jumps in some weeks and less or none in others. Following completion of the construction process passing premises in the streets, further validation of address data is undertaken of the “as-built” network against estimates obtained from national address data. There may be some fluctuation in numbers from week to week as a result.’
According to the report during the week an additional 2,420 premises had services activated on the network, including 1,984 on fixed line services and 436 using satellite and fixed wireless technologies. A total 3,082 additional lots/premises were passed/covered by the network during the week, excluding satellite.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has also responsed to allegations by Digital Tasmania’s Andrew Connor that the government has put the rollout on hold after the release of the new NBN construction maps.
“That is not correct,” Mr Turnbull said. “The Coalition has updated the NBN maps to show residents the true state of the rollout in Tasmania.”
“The new maps reflect only areas where physical construction has begun, meaning that those communities have greater certainty about when the network will be active and when they can expect to order their services.”
“Mr Connor acknowledged that asbestos delays and issues with contractors had already created delays in the rollout. These delays occur between high level planning and physical construction work begins – meaning that communities who have been informed that they will be getting the NBN in a reasonable timeframe are waiting for periods of beyond 18 months.”
Meanwhile, the Age newspaper has reported that Mr Turnbull’s office has approved a new round of construction contracts which would see a further 150,000 premises connected to the NBN.
NBN Co spokesman Andrew Sholl told the Age that NBN Co would start issuing build instructions for the 150,000 premises, which were scattered around the country, from next week until February to “minimise disruption to the construction industry”.