NBN to miss June deadline - CHECK YOUR SUBURB HERE!
Exclusive: More than 100,000 households and businesses will not be able to connect to the National Broadband Network by its June deadline - and some will have to wait almost two years to access the $52.5 billion project.
News Corp can today reveal the dire reality facing Australians in 135 suburbs and cities across New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, and Western Australia, who were promised technology that would "connect Australia and bridge the digital divide".
The bushfires slowed the progress in some areas expecting to dial in this year, but planning and constructions issues were more broadly to blame for delays to "approximately 100,000" households.
Some of the towns listed feature large areas that will wait months to be "ready" to connect to the NBN while many cities feature a number of individual buildings yet to receive the technology.
However, an NBN Co spokesman said the company considered the project "99 per cent complete" as it had met its target to reach 11.5 million homes and would work to connect remaining premises.
"We continue to work through approximately 100,000 premises that were difficult to reach, heritage sites, and culturally significant sites," he said.
"We will be perpetually rolling out the NBN to new premises and continuing to upgrade the network over time."
Difficult-to-reach areas included Queensland's Stradbroke Island and the Scotland Islands and Pittwater on Sydney's northern beaches, he said.
And about 4300 premises in Parramatta and Rosehill in New South Wales are currently expected to be the last connected to the NBN, with a delivery date of March 2022.
NBN Co has blamed the long delay for houses, apartments, estates, and businesses in the area on technology redesigns, a light rail project, and Aboriginal Heritage Impact Permits.
Brisbane Pancake Manor manager Chantelle Phelan said she was frustrated, having received no communication from NBN Co in years and no connection.
She said the iconic restaurant operated using ADSL technology and, until yesterday, had no indication of when it would be ready to connect.
"The internet service we have here has always been pretty terrible," she said.
"It's strange, particularly because we have a Telstra exchange right next door."
Under federal legislation, Communications Minister Paul Fletcher has until December 31 to formally declare whether the NBN "should be treated as built and fully operational" in the lead up to a potential sale.
But RMIT network engineering association professor Mark Gregory said the rollout was incomplete and households were often surprised they could not connect to the NBN even though their neighbours were.
He said issues could be as simple as having no copper phone line connected to their home or being bypassed by HFC cable (pay TV cable) in their area.
"Hopefully, NBN Co will be able to focus on completing the rollout over the next year," he said.
Mr Gregory said the next big NBN hurdle would be increasing internet speeds on the network and replacing copper connections with faster, more reliable fibre.
He said households with fibre-to-the-home technology were now offered 1000 megabit per second plans, and a small number of households with HFC were able to access 250mbps speeds.
But he said premises connected to fibre-to-the-node technology that used old phone lines often could not reach even 100mbps and would miss out on the full benefits of the nationwide network.
"In my view, the NBN will not be completed until those areas - the 45 per cent on fibre-to-the-node - are upgraded to fibre-to-the-premises," he said. "What they have now is really no better than what they had before," Mr Gregory said.
Originally published as NBN set to miss June deadline in QLD