What it’s for and how to use it
You’ve heard all about the National Broadband Network- NBN, and it sounds exciting – after all, who wouldn’t want a broadband connection capable of streaming Netflix and Stan seamlessly, while downloading photos, movies or games at high speed at the very same time? There’s plenty of reasons to be excited about the NBN (you can read all about them in our overview) but the burning question is, when can I get it?
NBNco, the company tasked with installing and maintaining the NBN, is tackling the huge job of rolling out the network in stages, and so there will be certain areas that get access earlier than others, as well as newly-built areas and apartments that will automatically go to the top of the queue. You may be living somewhere the NBN already is – or is coming to soon – but how would you know?
That’s where our live NBN Rollout Tracker comes into play.
What It Is
The Rollout Tracker uses data supplied by the NBN themselves to show you, on an interactive map, not just the areas where NBN installation is finished, in progress or planned, but also in many cases it can provide that info down to specific buildings. You can check any location in Australia down to a specific street address, or zoom out to see the entire areas that have already had the NBN cabling done and the service switched on.
How to Use It
When you head over to the Tracker page, you’ll see a map of Australia with a lot of purple pins on it.
These all mark places where the NBN Rollout is now active and available, and as you can see, it spreads right around the country. Click in the box above the map, and start typing the street address you want to check, then click the one that you want when it’s displayed in the drop-down menu that appears below.
The map will zoom into show you that area, and give you a general idea of whether the NBN is available there yet – you’ll know immediately if the entire area has been converted over as the background will be coloured purple. As you can see from the picture, the Tracker will also let you know whether the old copper phone lines have been turned off in the area, and advise you to make the switch to the NBN so you can get connected again.
The coloured pins you’ll see around the map are for specific properties that have the NBN or are in the process of getting it – click on a pin to find out what the building is and what stage the NBN installation is at. Brand new buildings make up a lot of these pins, as the NBN is installed and cabled up while the building is still being constructed.
The pins will show:
- A – NBN service is available now
- B – The NBN is in the process of being installed, possibly during construction
- P – The first stage of preparations to install the NBN are in progress
- S – This identifies buildings that have a fibre broadband service from another company (for example, TPG has installed Fibre to the Basement in some capital city apartment buildings; if you live there, you can access this fibre using any ISP, not just TPG).
The database used by NBNco is a little bit fussy about exact addresses, by the way – for example, an apartment building that has a street number of 501 may actually take up several lots, and be listed as “499-503”. If that’s the case for your building, you’ll usually see that on your utility bills. However, just entering the address and seeing if your building is on the map coloured in purple, brown or green is easy enough – then just click on the building for the details.
Once you’ve discovered you’ve got access to the NBN, just click the green box at the bottom of the tracker page, and you can quickly review the Best NBN plans on offer in your city or region.
Give it a spin now! Fast, reliable broadband internet could be closer than you thought.