NBN is coming

The NBN has announced timing for building the NBN in the upper mountains.

Construction in mountains towns Lawson, Bullaburra, Wentworth Falls, Leura, Katoomba and Medlow Bath begins between now and February, with the ability to order services likely from about the middle of 2016 (their expected ‘ready for service’ dates are Q2-2016 and Q3-2016).

The work will bring Fibre to the Node technology to 14600 premises. FTTN is the scaled back network the Coalition developed, which uses high performance fibre optic cable to connect street side cabinets to the main NBN backbone network.

The existing copper wires that connect your current telephone and broadband services will then be plugged into the street side cabinets. This mix of technologies allows up to 100Mbps network link speed, although in premises further from the cabinets this declines to speeds as low as 25Mbps.

While this is slower than the 100Mbps – 1000Mbps a fibre link to every premises would offer, it is still a substantial speed upgrade for mountains residents who have been limited to ADSL2+ speeds at best (24Mbps in ideal conditions but typically much lower). The copper based last-mile link will also offer a faster build time, and limit the amount of civil construction work.

Further up the mountain, Blackheath and Mt Vic will see construction commence in Q2 2016 with services ready early 2017.

Disappointingly, if you are lower than Lawson things aren’t so rosy. The NBN will not commence building in Lapstone, Glenbrook, Blaxland, Warrimoo, Valley Heights, Springwood, Faulconbridge, Linden, Woodford and Hazelbrook plus Winmalee, Yellow Rock, Mount Riverview, Hawkesbury Heights and Leonay until the second half of 2017, with services not expected to be available until 2018. The one bright patch is that some of these sites will get fibre to the premises.

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