NBNCo’s future may be politically uncertain, but the company tasked with building the Australian government of the day's nationwide fibre network is getting on with the job, today announcing the long-awaited three year rollout plan, detailing all the suburbs and new estates that it intends to service with high speed fibre optic broadband connections and the regional areas to be covered by dedicated fixed wireless services by 2015.
According to tech blog Delimiter
, the rollout is pegged to "pass 3.5 million premises in 1500 communities in every state and territory in Australia".
The locations were chosen, according to NBN Co, firstly on the basis of meeting a number of policy objectives, namely that construction should take place across both rural and metropolitan areas; that construction should be across all states and territories; that the rollout in Tasmania should be finished by 2016 and that all new developments with over 100 premises should be covered.
In addition, NBN Co added a number of its own guidelines to help determine the schedule, ranging from the idea that the fixed wireless rollout should be completed in 2015 (it will target a small percentage of areas which won’t receive fibre); that satellite broadband via NBN Co’s own satellites should be available by 2015, and that areas where there were a large number of new developments should be prioritised, to avoid old technologies having to be installed — only to be replaced with the NBN later on.
If you want to see whether your area made the cut, NBNCo have a comprehensive Google Maps
interface flagging every location.
Consumers in completed areas will be able to access the wholesale NBN service retailed via many of the same ISP's that currently supply DSL and Cable services in the country today.
Although the network is touted to have far reaching economic benefits across many sectors, there are some obvious predictable benefits from a pure gaming perspective. Immediately, fibre connected players can expect more stable and low latency connections to domestic game servers. Then as NBN connections in Australia become more ubiquitous we can expect better chances of the player hosting that Halo or Call of Duty match on Xbox or PlayStation to have a connection fast enough to support everyone else in their game, and of course, the further viability of "cloud gaming" services like OnLive and Gakai.
All this is assuming that a change in government won’t derail the entire thing, but if you’re fortunate enough to be on the rollout map, there’s at least the chance that the relevant contracts might be carved in the bedrock if and when that time comes. Did you make the cut