The National Broadband Network (NBN) is a project commissioned by the Australian Government to upgrade the level of internet access in Australia to be in line with other major countries around the world. The goal of the NBN is to deliver faster and more reliable internet access to all Australians.
This firstly involves laying fibre optic cables that are expected to connect around 93 per cent of Australian homes to the NBN. In many areas of the country these cables are already being installed, and it is expected that the entire project will be completed by June 2021.
One of the primary advantages of the National Broadband Network will be the massive increase in the speed at which people can upload and download material online. Whereas existing ADSL internet is delivered via your phone line, the new high speed internet will be delivered via a separate fibre optic cable.
The National Broadband Network is expected to connect 93 per cent of Australian households to the fibre optic network, but what about those regional areas that will miss out? Households outside of the cable region will be connected via next generation fixed-wireless and satellite technology systems that will provide peak speeds of up to 12Mbps. Although it may not be quite as fast as the cable network, this is still a vast improvement in speed for many of these areas.
Currently the fastest standard internet access in Australia is achieved through an ADSL2+ connection and has a theoretical top speed of around 24Mbps, although often the actual speed is achieved is around half this. The National Broadband Network will have a top speed of 100Mbps and performance should be more consistent. This means a 1GB movie that currently takes around 11 minutes to download on an ADSL2+ could be downloaded in as little as 80 seconds on the NBN.
The improvements in download speed will allow people to download material faster, load web pages quicker, stream high quality IPTV, and take advantage of enhanced rich content, but the advantages also extend to purposes such as online business and building a stronger digital economy. The NBN roll out is also expected to provide greater access to education services to all Australians, regardless of location. It is also expected to enable major improvements to the way in which health care is delivered in Australia with new options such as remote consultations and monitoring.
Once the National Broadband Network is available in your area you will need to contact a participating NBN internet service provider.
Initial pricing for the first NBN trial areas has now been released by most carriers. Overall, NBN pricing seems comparable with existing ADSL2+ plans. However, the plans do become more cost effective for heavy internet users who want maximum downloads as quickly as possible. We expect that the NBN plan pricing will continue to fluctuate as new locations receive NBN access.
The National Broadband Network has commenced being rolled out in numerous towns around the country. As these areas near completion more areas will be gradually introduced until eventually the whole country is connected in 2021. As new areas are released they will be announced on the nbnTM website.
Our comparisons show the maximum download and upload speeds that can be achieved through each type of broadband connection. There is no guarantee that this maximum speed will actually be achieved by every user. There are a number of external factors that may contribute to the actual achieved speed, including:
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