Eaglehawk, Epsom to receive 'fibre-to-the-curb' in final NBN rollout plan

Workers lay cables at the start of the NBN rollout in Bendigo in 2013. Only a few suburbs are left to be connected.
Workers lay cables at the start of the NBN rollout in Bendigo in 2013. Only a few suburbs are left to be connected.

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THE National Broadband Network will be rolled out in the final Bendigo suburbs in the second half of this year, using a new and faster form of technological delivery.

Epsom and Eaglehawk premises will receive “fibre-to-the-curb” connections – an improvement on the fibre-to-the-node technology rolled out in the rest of suburban Bendigo.

The plan involves delivering the fibre optic cable to a pit in front of each house, rather than a neighbourhood node. The broadband will then have less distance to travel using the old copper network.

NBN Co announced the two suburbs will be connected by mid-2018 as work takes place between June and December this year. Warracknabeal and St Arnaud are also in the fibre-to-the-curb plan.

NBN Co spokesperson Kasey Ellison said available speeds depended on a range of factors, and which internet package the customer purchased.

She said Eaglehawk and Epsom were the last areas of suburban Bendigo to receive the NBN.

“Works will take place between July and December, and people will be able to connect by the middle of next year,” Ms Ellison said.

“We’ve found that 85 per cent of people are purchasing plans for 25 megabits per second or less.”

Fibre-to-the-curb is being rolled out in Coburg as a trial site before the main rollout begins.

The NBN has encountered criticism in Bendigo in recent weeks as customers outlined their issues getting connected, and receiving speeds faster than before.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has called on volunteers to take part in a program to measure download speeds across the country.

Complaints about the NBN to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman have also increased across the country in the last 12 months.

Bendigo mayor Margaret O’Rourke plans to raise NBN issues while at a local government conference in Canberra this week. There are fears inferior download speeds in Bendigo could place it at a disadvantage.