Is the delay of the NBN roll-out to parts of the Clarence Valley a good thing?
Is the delay of the NBN roll-out to parts of the Clarence Valley a good thing?

NBN delay a blessing?

IF YOU'VE been watching the National Broadband Network rollout closely, you may have noticed that the availability timeline for the some parts of the Clarence Valley appears to have been pushed back again.

But according to ANT Communications director Wayne Inglis, it may end up working in our favour.

He said it wasn't just the Clarence Valley experiencing continued rollout delays, and part of the reason wasn't the speed of the rollout itself but discussions within the industry around its delivery.

One discussion about the advantages of the fibre-to-the-curb (FTTC) technology over fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) - planned to be the most prevalent technology in the Valley - could end in a better result for residents.

Described as a hybrid of Fibre-to-the-Premise (FTTP) and FTTN, the newest technology allows fibre to be laid directly into the curb rather than taking fibre to a central node in a neighbourhood.

As well as facilitating faster download speeds, it will make it possible, at a cost, for property owners to do away with old copper connections altogether and get a direct fibre connection to their house or business.

In June, it was announced Casino, Ballina, Bellingen, Dorrigo and Woolgoolga would be included in the beginning of the first stages of the FTTC technology rollout, with construction on 8000 homes and business in Grafton, Maclean and Yamba expected over the first half of next year.

Most places in the Clarence Valley will wait until July 2018 at the earliest for the installation of fixed NBN technologies.

"I don't think the push back is good or bad in itself, but it may be positive because you could end up with better technology with much better speed and better reliability," Mr Inglis said.

"FTTN doesn't offer any option to upgrade the NBN for the end user, but with FTTC the maximum distance from end user to the (main system) is 150m. That's an average of around 90m, not really expensive if households want to pay for fibre straight to the house."



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