A pilot program investigating ways to accelerate the rollout of the National Broadband Network is set to begin in early 2014.

NBN Co has issued expressions of interest to internet service providers to participate in the pilot, which will roll out fibre-to-the-building in up to ten large office complexes and apartment blocks across the country, comprising up to 1000 individual homes and offices.

The pilot will see fibre optic cables delivered to a telecommunications connection box (or node) which is ordinarily located in the communications room of the building. This box, in turn, connects to the existing in-building wiring, enabling ISPs to deliver very fast broadband to each individual apartment and office.

NBN Co’s Chief Technology Officer, Mr Gary McLaren, said fibre-to-the-building was an example of a number of advanced broadband technologies that are being rolled out successfully around the world.

“Our goal is to ensure that all Australians can have access to very fast broadband as soon, as cost-effectively and as affordably as possible,” Mr McLaren said.

“The pilot is an essential step along the way to determining the right mix of technologies to do just that.”

Data collected from the pilot will assist NBN Co to develop future services.

The pilot program is expected to last three months with the precise location of the premises involved yet to be determined.

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