NBN nearly 50% complete

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NBN nearly 50% complete

The National Broadband Network will reach 50 percent completion this year, according to NBN Co, as it targets 5.4 million connections to homes and businesses by 30 June.

The company responsible for overseeing the NBN said it expects to connect 9 million homes to the network by June 2018, with the goal of completing the network by 2020.

As of 30 June 2016, the NBN had just under 1.1 million connections, but more than doubled that number a month later to reach 3 million by August.

More than 70 percent of connections have been deployed to regional and rural areas, but NBN said metropolitan areas would be connected next. Areas slated to receive the NBN this year include the City of Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Fremantle and Hobart.

NBN chairman Bill Morrow said the company would face difficulty as people will see network development in high density areas for the first time.

“We understand there will be some disruption for residents and business owners as the 14,000 people working across NBN and our delivery partners complete the task as soon as possible,” said Morrow.

“The intensified deployment will present challenges but the NBN team, along with our partners and retailers, is focused on a positive experience for customers and end users as we accelerate the build and connection rates to new records."

NBN market share is dominated by three internet service providers, Telstra, Optus and TPG, who collectively control 83 percent of the market.

Last year saw a number of new entrants into the NBN marketplace, including established telecommunications providers Vodafone, Amaysim and Foxtel.

Competition increased even further in April, when NBN's broadband satellite SkyMuster opened up wholesale services to ISPs. Seven ISPs have been approved to sell broadband from SkyMuster, which includes Activ8me, Ant Communications, Clear Networks, Harbour ISP, IPSTAR, reachnet and Sky Mesh.

SkyMuster capacity grew even further when NBN launched its second satellite in October. NBN expects 85,000 full-time users to connect to SkyMuster by June 2017.

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