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Full speed ahead for NBN roll-out as node cabinet installation starts

NBN ON THE WAY: Lendlease executive general manager Doug Moss, member for Calare John Cobb and Orange mayor John Davis watch as NBN Infrastructure is lowered into place. Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0304sgnbn2HOMES will be located no further than one kilometre from fibre optic nodes to ensure they meet the required minimum speed as part of the National Broadband Network roll-out.
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NBN contractors Lendlease demonstrated the installation of a node cabinet in Clinton Street yesterday in preparation for the fibre roll-out – fed from the exchange through fibre, nodes will be connected via new copper to Telstra pillars, which then connect via existing copper to 17,700 premises in Orange and 700 in Molong during the next 18 months.

Despite concerns from technology experts about the fibre to the node system’s capacity as houses became further away from the node, NBN Co NSW corporate affairs manager Kelly Stevens said the minimum 25 megabits a second speed would be achieved and the maximum distance was about a kilometre.

“We have a mandate from the government to ensure that everyone has access to 25 megabits minimum,” she said.

“What we’re actually finding is that the copper is in good shape so if the copper can’t deliver the speeds we require, we’ll remediate.

“The placement of the node will depend on how many houses, how many it will serve to be able to give them the fast speed they require.”

She said most people in Australia were currently on single-digit connections.

“On a 25-megabit connection, you’ll be able to stream five high-definition movies at once without the internet even skipping a beat,” she said.

Ms Stevens said test sites on the Central Coast had demonstrated top FTTN speeds of 91 megabits a second, and up to 50 megabits a second through fixed wireless.

Lendlease executive general manager Doug Moss said there would be a node installed for every 150 homes, 2000 in total, using new and existing conduits.

He said working in Orange so far had been much easier than metropolitan areas.

“People have understood the impositions and the traffic issues and the council is great to work with,” he said.

“It depends on the pipes, whether we build anything new.”

He said using a rod and rope system, conduits would be tested for blockages and flushed out if necessary in preparation for the fibre.

Orange mayor John Davis said the rollout would bring Orange into line with metropolitan areas.

“The fact is over the last 18 months especially, we have had people moving to Orange having a small business or wanting to start a business and were probably under the impression this service would be here before this date and were disappointed and they’ve been very patient,” he said.

“We’re entitled to it and we are going to get it – we are going to be competitive.”

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