Australia begins first phase of NBN network buildout

Australia's National Broadband Network may continue to be the subject of political debate but that's not stopping it from starting the construction of its ambitious last mile fiber open access network.

Among the first of five initial sites to be built out on the NBN is Townsville. In total, the five sites will connect about 3,000 premises to a network that will deliver up to 1 Gbps speeds. Other initial sites include Brunswick, Minnamurra and Kiama Downs, part of West Armidale, and the rural town of Willunga in South Australia.

Built by contractor Ergon Energy, the Townsville area network deployment will connect four schools and a large commercial site. The government expects that the Townsville deployment to take up to 12 weeks.

Although the Australian government said it will start connecting residential homes to the NBN early next year, Prime Minister Julia Gillard could not predict how many would be connected to it over the next three years.

"My simple point is, I mean, look today, it's happening today," she told ZDNet Australia.

For more:
- ZDnet Australia has this story

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