When the NBN rolls out: Is the rollout in the best interests of Australia?

The rollout of the NBN to the country’s rural and regional areas is expected to begin this month, but will be a long and painful process, with some regions likely to have to wait up to a year for their first home internet connection.

The NBN is the Government’s national network that is expected be completed by 2021, but there have been growing concerns that it will be slow to deliver, especially in rural areas where fibre to the premises is more widely used.

According to an article in The Australian Financial Times, there will be “a delay in the rollout of services” because the NBN is built on “a copper network”.

The article cites a senior government official, who said the Government has made a commitment to “build more fibre to rural and remote areas”.

It said the first homes would be connected in March 2019, and it said “no-one should be left waiting longer than the NBN’s anticipated timeframe for the roll-out”.

However, it said there would be “issues” with the rollout due to the fact that “the rollout will take longer in rural and rural-dependent areas”.

“There is some concern that the rollout will not be completed as quickly as previously anticipated, and will be delayed by years,” the article says.

“In order to deliver a seamless rollout, there is a need to reduce the number of premises that need to be connected and that will require a reduction in the number to be serviced by the NBN.”

The article also cites a report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) which found that the average NBN user spends approximately 30 minutes per day downloading, and the report found that only 13 per cent of NBN users had used more than 10GB of internet per month.

However, the ABS said the report’s conclusions were based on a very small sample size, and that it was premature to link any causal relationship between NBN rollout delays and increased internet use.