200,000 homes and businesses across Queensland and New South Wales will be hooked up to the NBN using fibre to the node, under a $150 million deal between the government, NBN Co and Telstra. The large-scale trial will use 1000 nodes around regional parts of the two states, connecting supposedly underserved areas from the existing broadband plan.
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The FTTN 'trial', using 1000 nodes in areas like Gorokan, Belmont and Morisset in NSW and Bribie Island and Caboolture in QLD, will be the largest of its kind in the country so far. The $150m will cover rental of Telstra-owned copper cables — the 'last mile' of wire that runs from houses to the ends of streets where the NBN nodes will be situated — but it's not clear whether Telstra will be responsible for the actual build-out of the nodes themselves.
The exact wording from NBN Co's media statement says that both the government-run broadband organisation and Telstra will "pilot the planning, design and construction" of the 1000-node network. According to NBN Co, "FTTN marries fibre optic cables with Telstra’s copper lines in a streetside node cabinet to deliver fast broadband to homes and businesses", although exact speeds to end users aren't as easy to quantify as with the alternative fibre to the premises build option. [NBN Co]