It was 2½ years ago (April 2013) that I wrote a short item for the Bulletin outlining how the National Broadband Network (the NBN) was coming soon to Glebe, and that construction would commence shortly and be completed by mid-2014. All properties would be connected via FTTP (Fibre to the Premises), delivering super high speed internet of 100 Mbs (that’s 10 Megabytes per second). That compares with the current broadband speed of about 15 Mbs (1.5 Megabytes per second) that most people in Glebe are able to get.

Construction work on the NBN did commence in Glebe in 2013 and teams of NBN workers were checking and preparing the existing Telstra ducts for installation of the new fibre optic cables. The NBN rollout map showed Glebe being completed by July 2014.

That was under the Labor Government. As we all know, the Liberal Government won the election in September 2013 and one of the first things they did was announce that it would be done faster and cheaper than Labor could. It would be cheaper because it would be slower, using FTTN (Fibre to the Node) with the fibre optic cables going to cabinets, known as Nodes, located on street corners. How big would a Node be? They’re substantial, over a metre high, nearly a metre wide and half a metre deep. The data would then go to customer premises via the old Telstra copper cables. The result is predicted speeds of 25 Mbs, a quarter of what was originally planned, thus only a small improvement on what many people already get via their old broadband equipment.

For Glebe, construction of the NBN was suspended in late 2013 and no more work was done, with NBN Co. undergoing multiple major reviews. The detailed rollout map on the NBN website was then annoyingly cleared of all information.

NBN Co finally released its latest rollout plan last month (16 October) and it is now planned for construction work to commence (or resume) in Glebe in mid 2018. But they are using a range of technologies around Australia and rather than using FTTP or FTTN in Glebe, they are likely to use HFC technology. That means that they’ll probably be using the Foxtel cable that is in most streets of Glebe. Predictions are that this is good news for those who want very high speed internet of about 100 Mbs, but we’ll have to wait at least another 3-4 years for it.