The NBN (National Broadband Network) is finally winding its way to Tenterfield with installation of the optic fibre network getting underway for the town centre.
The cable will connect 1300 Tenterfield homes and businesses, complementing the 500 premises on the perimetre of town accessing the NBN using fixed wireless technology. Those without access to either technologies are eligible to connect to the network through the Sky Muster satellite service.
Crews will be on the ground, checking pits and pipes, laying the fibre backbone to the network and installing node cabinets throughout the area, with people expected to be able to make the switch from May this year.
"The construction of the NBN broadband access network in Tenterfield is great news for the local community who will soon be able to access high speed internet through the new network,” mayor Peter Petty said.
"It will help local businesses maximise their potential and will support our endeavours to attract businesses and those looking to move from major centres.”
Tenterfield’s installation will use Fibre to the Curb (FTTC) technology, with optic fibre connected to the telecom pit outside a premises, then connected to a small Distribution Point Unit that uses the existing copper line into the premises.
FTTC is a compromise on the Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) technology, which sees optic fibre employed at every stage of data transfer, as the latter was seen to be too expensive, complicated and taking too long to roll out.
The cost of driving fibre from the pit to the premises has been estimated to be roughly 25-30 per cent of an FTTP build. Due to the short length of copper wiring involved and advancing technologies, however, there should be minimal speed degradation on FTTC when compared to FTTP
NBNCO spokesperson Russell Kelly said crews will be on the ground in Tenterfield, checking pits and pipes and laying optical fibre throughout the area, with work expected to be completed by the end of September.
Mr Kelly said people can use the Check Your Address function at www.nbnco.com.au/switch to find out when the NBN network will be available at their home or business. They can also register their email address to be notified when they will be able to contact their preferred retail provider to place an order for their new internet and phone services
More information on the NBN can be found at www.nbnco.com.au. For general project enquiries, contact the NBN Customer Service Team on 1800 OUR NBN (1800 687 626).
Due to the civil works required in the construction of network, Mr Kelly said residents may experience some disruptions.
“We apologise for any inconvenience experienced while this important work is carried out,” he said.
Mr Kelly said it’s important that people understand that switching to the NBN network is not automatic, although there’s no hurry.
Once the network is switched on, people have 18 months to contact their preferred retail service provider and make the switch. After this time, the NBN network will replace most existing landline phone and internet services.
The 18-month window allows time for those with special equipment including medical and security alarms and EFTPOS terminals – which operate using a landline phone connection – to contact their device provider and retail service provider.
Mr Kelly said the disconnection window, however, does not apply to those areas covered by an NBN fixed wireless or the Sky Muster satellite service. These premises can continue to use their existing copper landline, and this will not be disconnected.
There are more than 150 providers offering retail NBN services to customers, and NBNCO recommends people shop around to find a plan that best suits their budget and needs.
While businesses can enjoy faster and more efficient communication via the NBN, the NSW Business Chamber advises them to plan ahead to minimise any pain from the changeover.
Its survey reflected the average cost of a business swapping over from ADSL to NBN to be $9000, including the upgrade of equipment such as modems, routers and EFTPOS machines, and loss of trade due to delays in the process.
“The retail cost of ADSL versus NBN largely revolves around your upload/download speed,” the chamber’s Joe Townsend said.
“Some plans won’t change, others can triple to provide additional speed.”
The chamber recommends a five-point connection guide to business operators:
- Find the right retail service provider
- You’ve got 18 months to sign up. Take your time and talk to your provider.
- Confirm that your premises has permission from the property owner
- Protect your business by keeping your current service on
- Check your equipment is NBN-ready