Federal Govt NBN committee recommends networks without NBN to get FTTC technology, including parts of Bayswater, Morley, Noranda and Nollamara

NBN workers installing fibre-to-the-curb (FTTC) technology.
NBN workers installing fibre-to-the-curb (FTTC) technology.

A FEDERAL Government joint standing committee has recommended all remaining network lines, including Bayswater, Morley, Noranda and Nollamara without NBN to be equipped with a fibre-to-the-curb (FTTC) technology.

The Joint Standing Committee on the NBN tabled its first report in Parliament on October 16, which featured several recommendations to NBN Co on how customers moved their telecommunications to the NBN and the quality and reliability of the service.

NBN’s access network has been rolled out in the Town of Bassendean, while the rollout in the City of Bayswater will continue with works due to start in parts of Bayswater, Bedford and Embleton, and continue in sections of Maylands, Morley and Mt Lawley in late 2017.

The rollout in City of Stirling will continue with works due to start in parts of Nollamara and Tuart Hill, and continue in sections of Balcatta, Balga, Doubleview, Karrinyup, Osborne Park, Mirrabooka, Scarborough, Stirling, Westminster and Yokine in late 2017.

Morley Noranda Internet Action Group spokesman and Dianella resident Wayne Carter said the group’s preference was that we would be left with FTTC as a solution for the whole of the area as opposed to a “second-class” network for the remaining areas.

“I am fortunate, I get around 2.5 to 3.5 Mpbs; that is still pretty slow but it does allow me to watch Netflix for example…it does allow me to transfer reasonable documents,” he said.

“Going to the action group meetings, there are horror stories about people who are moving out of the area or trying to make choices of where they live or set up businesses based on internet speeds.

“I understand that this is a significant infrastructure investment in the future but it is going to have to be done right.”

NBN Co WA spokeswoman Rebecca Papillo said NBN Co would be looking closely at the recommendations in order to improve customer experience through improved installation, fault detection and a national awareness campaign.

“During the planning process a change of planned technology can sometimes occur if NBN can deploy another technology in a more cost effective and timely manner,” she said.

“With more than 90 per cent of premises already in design, construction or ready for service as at June 30 this year, any changes to technology in homes now would lead to lengthy delays of up to two or three years.

“By 2020 every Australian home or business will have access to wholesale speeds of at least 25Mbps, and we are very much designing the network with future upgrades in mind.

“Fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) sets us up very well should the demand for faster speeds arise and a move to FTTC later on makes sense.”

Committee chair Sussan Ley said the majority of frustration made in public submissions was related to “ping-pong” discussions between service providers and NBN Co.

“In many ways, the retail providers are also coming to terms with what is a massive new infrastructure project, recognising that if they promise a speed they actually have to deliver it, and tell us beforehand that during peak periods of the day broadband speeds can vary,” she said.

Deputy chair and Fremantle MHR Josh Wilson said with only moderately increased upfront costs, NBN Co could roll out FTTC in all areas that was slated to receive FTTN, which would save money in the future.

“It will be terrible if we undertake this massive project only to reach the end of the rollout with a network that is obsolete at the point of delivery,” he said.

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