Caroline Springs and surrounding suburbs will have full access to NBN broadband services early next year, but some residents are expressing concern over the make-up of the system.
When the NBN was originally announced, homes in Caroline Springs were slated to be connected to the network through FTTC technology.
FTTC (short for fibre-to-the-curb) technology delivers fibre to the footpath outside a home. The fibre is then connected to a small distribution unit, from which existing copper lines deliver broadband to the premises.
However NBN Co has since moved away from the initial concept and now plans to connect some homes to the network with FTTN (fibre-to-the-node) technology.
The FTTN method has a fibre running to a mini-exchange, or node, near a home. It is considered inferior to FTTC by many.
Caroline Springs resident Jorge Lopes said a move to FTTN technology would be a slap in the face for the community.
“Caroline Springs has suffered with one of the lowest internet speeds in the nation for a very long time,” Mr Lopes said. “I’ve personally experienced speeds as slow as 0.29 to 1.00 mps on a nightly basis.”
He said the internet was a pivotal part of life in Caroline Springs, with its wide range of ages and diverse demographic.
“Whether it be high school students, university students or people trying to work or run a business from home – to only get FTTN would be a slap in the face for the community,” he said.
NBN Co public affairs manager James Kaufman said that the technology built for each area depended on a number of variables.
“In every suburb, including Caroline Springs, NBN assess which technologies are built based on minimum time and cost to the taxpayer, ensuring we use existing infrastructure,” he said. “It can also change as new technologies emerge. In some suburbs – Caroline Springs included – there may be multiple technologies.”
Caroline Springs is due to receive network access through both FTTN and FTTC, but allocations have yet to be determined.