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The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) welcomes the three-year construction plan released by nbn but is concerned that some consumers will still be waiting up to five years for adequate broadband services. Information released about the National Broadband Network (NBN) has been limited in the last few years. This has left most consumers in the dark about when the NBN might reach them. We regularly hear frustration from our members and consumers over the lack of information and transparency of the NBN rollout. This announcement provides more information for a large number of areas and is due to be updated quarterly, meaning consumers will be more informed.

"nbn previously estimated that 20 per cent of premises in Australia were not able to access adequate services. Through this plan, and over the next three years, a large portion of these consumers will be connected to the National Broadband Network," said ACCAN CEO, Teresa Corbin. "However, ACCAN is very concerned for consumers who have not made the list and are currently unable to get adequate broadband services. Some consumers are experiencing this if there are no ADSL ports available or their premises are too far from exchanges. Addressing areas that are currently poorly served is one of our policy priorities that we announced earlier this week.

"ACCAN is calling on the telecommunications industry to address any gaps and provide affordable interim solutions for these consumers. In particular, we are calling on Telstra to maintain existing services and to investigate alternative solutions for consumers in exchange areas without available services. Consumers who will be waiting up to five years should be offered alternative services."

It is very important that consumers understand what is being announced and how it will affect them. The nbn rollout occurs in three main stages: preparation for build, building of the network, and when finished services are then available for consumers to purchase.

The announcement provides the expected date that nbn will commence building the network in the areas listed (the second stage). It can take a further 12 months after this date before consumers are contacted by nbn, notifying them that they can purchase services through a retail provider, for example, Telstra, Optus or iiNet. Therefore the last construction areas on this plan (construction to begin in H2 2018) will likely not be able to purchase services until 2019.

Consumers, who wish to check if their town or suburb is included in the construction plan, should go to www.nbn.com.au/3yearplan.

Consumers should note that areas due to receive satellite services, are not included in this construction plan, however these services are due to be available from May next year and further information on this is expected in the coming months.

For more information, contact Luke Sutton on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 0409 966 931.

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