Seven months until all Tweed is NBN connected
WITHIN seven months, all homes and businesses in the Tweed region will be able to connect to the National Broadband Network.
On Thursday, 3200 homes and businesses in parts of Coolangatta can make the switch to the NBN network for the first time.
But those south of the border are also on the home stretch with construction underway or nearing completion to connect more than 32,000 Tweed Heads premises to the NBN network.
After the Coolangatta switch next week, the remaining 28,900 homes and businesses across the Tweed will progressively become able to connect over the following seven months.
A further 3600 premises on the outskirts of the Tweed - including Kingscliff, Murwillumbah and Terranora - are already able to access the NBN network through a fixed wireless service.
Construction to connect an additional 1330 homes and businesses across Kyogle, Mullumbimby, Kunghur and Uki to the fixed wireless service has begun, with people able to connect from February next year.
Many homes and businesses on the outskirts of the Tweed are already eligible to access the NBN network through the Sky Muster satellite service.
The satellite service is designed to deliver fast broadband access to about 400,000 homes and businesses in rural and remote Australia, including 120,000 in NSW.
Eligible homes and businesses are able to order a service today. If not yet eligible, people can register to be notified when a service is ready.
NBN chief Bill Morrow said every NBN connection guaranteed a minimum 25MBps download and 5MBps upload was possible but the plan customers chose with a retailer would dictate speed and data access.
So if a customer chooses a cheaper plan with lower data and speed allowances, including different options for peak and off-peak use, this could affect their experience with the NBN.
"Not everybody will pick the same service levels or even the bandwidth that can flow through this network,” Mr Morrow said.
"So you'll have a choice to have something tailored to your individual needs.
"Say I'm on a fixed income, I can't afford much, but I need basic access for my kids to be able to have some sort of online construct with the school and be able to do research reports ... but I'm not going to do a whole lot of Netflix media streaming.
"I can go with a provider that is going to be the lowest cost to me but if I try to use it in a heavy busy period I'm going to get constrained.
"My next door neighbour might decide 'I don't care about price, I want to pay for a premium service to make sure I can do Netflix on five different terminals in my house and I am unconstrained during the busy period'.”
The NBN's 25MBps or above download plans are considered fast broadband but consumers who buy cheap plans with 12Mbps may find the broadband service slower, similar to what many households or businesses in Australia experience on ADSL2.
NSW is more than a quarter (27%) of the way through the build with 70% of construction taking place in regional and non-metro areas.
So far in NSW, 748,800 homes and businesses have been connected through a fixed line, 121,868 have been connected through satellite and 127,312 through wireless technologies.
- ARM NEWSDESK
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO
Watch out for a letter in the mail from NBN with instructions on how to proceed.
Once your home or business is connected to the NBN, you will have 18 months to switch over or you will lose your current service.
This includes your landline phones, fax, ADSL and in some cases eftpos facilities.
NBN is a wholesale provider so you will need to investigate deals with retail service providers in your area to find the best deal to suit you. This might be the big ones such as Telstra or Optus or a growing number of smaller telecommunications competitors such as Active8 or Belong entering the market to compete in this space.
Work out how much data you will need: Most plans have data allowances measured in gigabytes (GB). Review your current use to ensure your monthly allowance meets your needs and factor in some headroom. If entertainment is important to you and you want on-demand content - such as Netflix, Stan and Presto - check that the data will cover your needs.
Number porting (the ability to take your number with you) rules have not changed. To keep an existing number, you need to ask your service provider to confirm they can do this when you place your order for an NBN service.
Find your local service providers through www.nbnco.com.au/campaigns/make-the-switch.html.