NBN Co reinstates fixed-line tech type in rollout maps

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NBN Co reinstates fixed-line tech type in rollout maps

‘Major update’ also adds availability dates for Telstra HFC footprint.

NBN Co has reversed a two month-old decision not to tell users what type of fixed-line technology they’re likely to receive.

Up until five days before Christmas last year, NBN Co had published details of the access technology users could expect within its three-year construction plan.

However, when the three-year plan was scrapped, the information was partially incorporated into NBN Co’s online address checker tools instead.

Customers searching with the online tools were simply told they would receive an unspecified “fixed line technology”, fixed wireless, or satellite service.  

The lack of detail saw NBN Co roundly criticised.

But the company on Saturday reversed its decision, and in turn provide a greater level of detail on access technology than ever before.

An update to its online maps shows the “anticipated technology which will be used to roll the network out in” the searched area.

iTnews understands this will not only reinstate delineation of FTTP, FTTN, and HFC neighbourhoods, but for the first time also show premises set to receive FTTdp (called FTTC by NBN Co) and FTTB, which until now has been shown on maps as FTTN.

The detailed delineation of premises by access technology could help prospective users more accurately determine what kind of speeds they can expect.

Speed tiering and capabilities vary between fixed line technologies used in NBN Co’s multi-technology mix, and a generic categorisation of “fixed” services could mislead customers of expected performance.

The changes come at a time when the ACCC is cracking down on “vague” broadband performance claims by service providers.

While NBN Co will now provide details of the “anticipated” access technology, chief customer officer John Simon said in a statement that it may not be the one the customer ends up with.

“We have been working hard to provide as much clarity as possible on the rollout for the majority of Australians, but as is the nature of this business, people need to be prepared for change,” Simon said.

“It’s not until we are in the streets that we have a clear view of the technology available to individual homes so there are times where a different solution is determined to be better than that which was planned.

“The sheer size and complexity of the network build means there will always be a need for flexibility of our technology choice and service availability dates."

In addition to reinstating access technology details, the map updates are expected to provide ready for service (RFS) dates for the majority of Telstra HFC premises that had not been on the construction schedule.

“The website now allows nearly every Australian to find out when they will be able to contact their preferred retailer to connect to the NBN network,” Simon said.

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