The Australian Government established NBN Co. Ltd. in 2009, with the intention of developing a single broadband network with national coverage. NBN Co Ltd acts as a wholesaler and through local phone and internet providers, end users can access the nbn™ technology.
Owned by the Commonwealth of Australia as a Government Business Enterprise, NBN Co. Ltd. has set out to bring the latest technology to homes across Australia, by working on building the necessary infrastructure and by also making the most of the existing one, where needed.
The Statement of Expectations from 24 August 2016 clearly outlines the fact that the network will act as a wholesale only access network, available to all access seekers. By operating at the lowest practical level in the network stack and by offering equivalent conditions to all retail phone and internet providers, the declared intention is to create a more competitive telecommunications market.
Even though there are lots of providers it’s easy to see a big pattern emerging. The top three internet service providers in the country hold about 80 percent of the NBN market. It means all the smaller providers are battling between themselves for the remaining 20 percent. In the future, it’s possible the biggest providers will be able to increase their market share even more.
As stated on the nbn™ website, currently 6.5 million premises are able to connect through the nbn™ broadband access network, with 150000 more homes and businesses added in March 2018. Another fact featured on the nbn™ website is that between December 2017 and April 2018, over one million end users have been signed on to higher speed plans over the nbn™ access network.
The NBN™ multi technology mix
Most end users access to the nbn™ network through nbn™ Fixed Line connections. This basically means that the necessary infrastructure is or will be put in place so that optic fibre runs all the way to the end user’s household, or, in some cases, optic fibre is brought closer to a building or to a group of buildings and is then connected to the pre-existing infrastructure. There are several possible connection solutions when the optic fibre does not run all the way to the premises. In some cases the existing copper network is used, in others the connection is made through the coaxial cable network already in place.
There is even a Technology Choice Program available, so that those interested and eligible can contribute financially in order to switch from the technology originally intended for the roll-out to a superior one.
Anyone interested in this will be able to change in a few different ways. It can be changed at the area level, which means multiple premises will be affected. Alternatively, the change can be carried out at the individual level too. It will depend on the needs of everyone connected to the internet in a specific area of the country.
In remote areas the technology used does not involve a physical line running all the way to the end user premises. Instead, either the nbn™ Fixed Wireless technology or the Sky Muster™ satellite service are in use in such conditions. Although customers will notice a slight difference it’s a huge improvement compared to what everyone has been used to for decades.
Internet and phone providers offer different NBN plans, and consumers can choose the desired speed tier and price, depending on their needs. Once the nbn™ technology reaches a certain area, residents have a time frame of approximately 18 months to switch to the nbn™ broadband access network, before the old technology which they had access to gets disconnected. After facilitating the switch to the nbn™ broadband access network, the provider will also be responsible for customer care.
It is important to note that many factors that affect the user’s internet experience depend on the quality of the equipment supplied by the provider and on the provider’s network capacity.