NBN change hits real estate

RELATED COVERAGE: State to miss out on fibre NBN after 2014

IT is too early to say whether a difference in National Broadband Network technology between suburbs will affect house prices, but Real Estate Institute of Tasmania president Adrian Kelly said it was already one of the first questions that buyers asked when looking for a new home.

Mr Kelly said the impact on house prices of access to fibre-to-the-premises broadband versus the fibre and copper hybrid network expected to be rolled out from next year was not yet known, but  it was inevitable that it would influence where some people decided to buy property.

NBN Co executive chairman Ziggy Switkowski revealed this week that only Tasmanian areas that received the NBN by the end of this year - an estimated 69,000 homes and businesses - would receive the full fibre-to-the-premises model promised under the previous federal government.

The remaining 135,000 homes and businesses would be covered by a fibre-to-the-node network, with a mixture of new fibre or existing copper or Telstra wires making the final connection.

Dr Switkowski said the mixed-technology network would be faster and cheaper to deliver, and still provide higher speeds than most users required.

Forty-five Tasmanian suburbs and towns, including the Launceston CBD, East Launceston, parts of Riverside, Trevallyn, Mowbray, Newstead, West Launceston, Ravenswood and Invermay, either already have or will soon have the NBN.

As of Sunday, 33,318 premises had been passed. NBN Co is yet to name the suburbs that will benefit from another parcel of the rollout to be released later this year, that will service 19,000 premises.

Local Government Association of Tasmania president Barry Easther said the organisation would write to Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull asking for him to deliver ``what was originally promised''.

Civil Contractors Association of Tasmania chief executive Tony Cook said contractors who had geared-up for the rollout, spending $18.8 million statewide, were now even less certain about future work.

``If there are no holes to dig, there's no work for civil contractors,'' Mr Cook said.


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