The rollout of the NBN began back in August last year in Armidale, while some trial customers have been lucky enough to be experiencing the fast speeds for a few weeks now. According to NBN Co, roughly 4,882 premises - including the University of New England - are included in the first release site for Armidale, although only a fraction of them are currently online with the NBN.
Of the early customers, the super fast speeds seem to be pretty well received. Internode customer Stephen Stroud seemed pretty happy with the benefit for his business:
“Back in the old days, we needed three ISDN lines, with a combined capacity of 384 kilobits per second, to run a videoconference – which was fine as long as we didn’t have too many people and no one moved much. Now, with 100 meg down and 40 meg up, everyone can move and talk to each other in a great quality videoconference using a service like Skype. All you need is the right equipment at each end.
“That’s phenomenal for anyone trying to run a business, particularly in regional Australia. That quality of communication allows people to become much more productive.”
According to the ABC, today the Armidale trial consists of just seven people, although they will be expanding that on a weekly basis.
It's still going to take a while before we all get to enjoy the kinds of speeds the lucky folk in Armidale are about to experience, but the end result will definitely be worth it...