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Adequately Served Areas: High speed fibre broadband without the NBN
To avoid double up, the NBN won't be rolling out broadband to Adequately Served Areas around Australia. Here's what that means.
The National Broadband Network is a massive engineering project with the lofty goal of bringing high-speed broadband to every Australian. That will mean the end of the ADSL copper network once the build is completed, and a whole new satellite system to deliver broadband to remote locations. But what about areas that are already served by fibre networks not owned by the NBN?
Back in 2012 as the NBN was still in its infancy and was still planned as a full FTTP network, it was decided that the NBN would avoid unnecessary (and expensive) duplication and not roll out NBN fibre to areas that were deemed to be "adequately served" by an existing fibre network.
Since then, the NBN has shifted to a multi-technology mix roll out, including a number of other technologies to deliver high-speed broadband. But the decision to avoid network duplication in areas already served by fibre networks has continued.
Adequately served: What does it mean?
Put simply, "Adequately Served" means that certain locations around Australia that have access to high-speed fibre networks will not be getting the NBN. Instead, those addresses will be classified as Adequately Served Areas and the companies that built those fibre networks will be required to offer wholesale access to their network to other companies.
As part of the original NBN rollout strategy, there were 45 networks in residential areas that the government had given Adequately Served status to, with networks supplied by four different providers.
These four networks provide a broadband network capable of matching the NBN's specifications and have agreed to offer a wholesale service price to their network so that customers living in these areas can choose to get a broadband connection from a range of retail service providers.
Since the change to a multi-technology mix rollout, the definition of Adequately Served has expanded to include any network offering more than 25Mbps download speeds, except the HFC networks from Telstra and Optus. Those HFC networks are being integrated into the NBN rollout, though not without some teething issues.
Frequently asked questions
Q: I'm in an Adequately Served Area. Can I still get the NBN?
A: Technically, no. However, you can access high-speed broadband which is what you're really after anyway, right? Pricing may be a little bit different to traditional NBN plan prices and have different inclusions. Talk to your provider of choice to find out more.
Q: I'm currently served by TPG's FTTB network. Is that part of an Adequately Served Area?
A: You would think so, but NBN Co has opted to build out its network on top of the TPG FTTB footprint. The good news is that having the choice of two networks means a better result for you.
Q: What networks are considered Adequately Served?
A: Prior to the change in delivery strategy, the government only included networks from Opticomm, Pivet, Places Victoria and NT Technology Services as able to be classified as Adequately Served Areas. These days, parts of Telstra's Velocity network, Frontier networks and OPENetworks are also considered to be Adequately Served Areas.
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