No dates yet for start of NBN service

LAUNCESTON is months away from joining the National Broadband Network, despite the official website saying it could be ready as early as next week.

A spokeswoman for NBN Co, the federal government-owned company building the network, said yesterday services should begin in Launceston during the first half of 2013.

Her comments follow curiosity in the project sparked by people working in the phone cable pits across the city and queries about the project timing from the NBN Co website.

The spokeswoman said work on the NBN in Launceston was some of the most advanced in Australia and the work area had just been expanded.

She said the work was being done in modules, and would be turned on in modules. Work had just begun on another module, bringing the total to seven covering suburbs from Trevallyn to Ravenswood and Invermay to Newstead.

She did not give a date for the start of services, but the area to go live first would be that roughly bounded by the North Esk River and Bathurst and George streets, as far as South Launceston.

But the NBN Co website says work began in this area, called vp+2Launceston module 1, in January  with an estimated 12-month construction period, meaning it had vp+2been anticipated it would be ready next month.

The spokeswoman said the actual start date varied between sites and monthly updates would be given, so residents and businesses had time to consider their connection plans.

It is understood no actual broadband cable has been laid in Launceston, as workers were still ``proving'' the pits, or unblocking them so the cable could be pushed through.

Contractors roll out NBN cables in York Street, Launceston.  Picture: SCOTT GELSTON

Contractors roll out NBN cables in York Street, Launceston. Picture: SCOTT GELSTON