NBN Rollout Timeline

Excitement surrounding the roll out of the NBN seems to have reached fever pitch lately. Our former Communications Minister is now the Prime Minister, there is a new national focus on technology and innovation and streaming entertainment services such as Netflix and Spotify are booming in popularity.

Whilst you probably know that the NBN may bring out the best in all of these things and more, you might be wondering when this whole National Broadband Network thing started, and importantly, where it's all going.

We think that's a pretty fair question to ask, so allow us to give you a bit of background information. Let's start at the finish…


nbn™, the government agency responsible for the roll out of the National Broadband Network infrastructure, aims to have all homes, businesses and communities ready to connect to the network by 2020. If everything goes to plan that means that at some point within the next five years your home or business should be ready to connect to the NBN (if you're not already connected).

It doesn't necessarily mean you will be able to use the NBN by that date, but rather that the infrastructure will be in place. That's referring to all of the fibre optic cables, nodes and integrations with existing technologies such as TV cables and copper telephone lines.

To access the NBN you will need to choose a retail service provider, like Optus. We've got some top notch NBN plans and bundles for you to choose from. We'll do all of the fiddly stuff to get you up and running and can even help arrange your installation with nbn™.

At this stage, the latest point you will be able to switch over to the NBN without potential disruptions to your service will be either late 2021 or sometime before June 2022.


Official discussions about early stage national broadband solutions began down in Canberra a decade ago in 2005. Various stakeholders identified a need to provide Australians with faster internet connection and a broadband network that didn't run on old copper wires that were originally designed for telephony. The outcome was the creation of the National Broadband Network Company (NBN Co., which has since rebranded to just nbn™).

It wasn't until four years later in 2009 that a new federal government announced revised plans for what would eventually become the NBN as it's being rolled out today. Another four years later and another change in federal government saw a revised approach incorporating a technology mix that would integrate with some of the existing broadband infrastructure such as ADSL copper telephone network and cable TV network.


Currently, the NBN is being rolled out across Australia. nbn™ has released a three year rollout plan with proposed construction dates with a list of specific locations. This is where NBN planning, building and installation efforts will be focused, however construction will be updated as new areas are added. You can pre-register with Optus to stay up to date with the rollout in your area.

If your area is listed in the three year plan, you can contact Optus today for information about how to prepare for NBN installation and how to switch your existing services over.

If that's not enough information for you, here's a timeline of how the NBN has unfolded since 2009.



December - NBN Co begins open consultations with wholesale customers and the telecommunications industry about plans for a National Broadband Network.


February - NBN Co recruits over 100 people to work in specialists jobs to help build the nation's new broadband network.

March - Five "first release" sites on mainland Australia are announced as testing grounds for Fibre to the Premise (FTTP). The sites are chosen based on their ability to test different construction techniques. They are Armidale, Kiama/Minnamurra Downs, Townsville, Willunga and Brunswick.

August - Tasmanian towns of Midway Point, Smithton and Scottsdale are the first Australian sites to go live with NBN following a pilot program.

December - First NBN Co corporate plan is released.


May - National Broadband Network goes live on mainland Australia for the first time, in Armidale, rural NSW.

June - NBN Co and Optus work together to bring existing HFC customers to the NBN for residential and small business customers on fixed-line networks.

August - The first communities for NBN fixed wireless are revealed. They are Geraldton, Toowoomba, Tamworth, Ballarat and Darwin.

August - National Broadband Network goes live in Melbourne in the Brunswick area.

September - Willunga, Adelaide becomes the first South Australian fibre-based site to go live.


January - NBN connects 4000th customer.

July - ACCC gives final approval for Optus to migrate HFC customers to the NBN.

October - Buzz Aldrin praises Australia's NBN, excited by the developments in Carnavon, which has historically played a significant role for NASA's Apollo missions.


January - The first local fibre-optic cable is installed in metropolitan Sydney

February - Canberra and metropolitan Brisbane connect to the NBN.

April - The first local NBN fibre optic cable is installed in metropolitan Adelaide.

July - NBN is officially switched on in Victoria Park, Mandurah and Geraldton in Western Australia.

December - Government delivers a strategic review of the NBN infrastructure. The multi-technology mix is devised by the coalition government to save costs and speed up roll out.


February - NBN Co selects Optus to operate the operation's two long term satellites.

March - NBN Co begins raising awareness of copper disconnection in Kiama, NSW. This is followed by disconnection in Brunswick, South Morang, Townsville and other early NBN sites.

March - Fibre to the building (FTTB) pilot begins in Melbourne suburbs of Carlton, Parkville and Brunswick.

December - NBN Co announces plan to acquire part of Optus' HFC network to enable a faster NBN rollout as part of multi-technology mix.


January - First sites in Darwin complete the full transition to the NBN.

March - NBN Co launches fibre to the building (FTTB) technology.

April - NBN Co rebrands to nbn™.

July - Australia's fixed wireless NBN ranks number 1 in the world, as found by the 2015 Fixed Wireless Broadband: A Global Comparison report.

August - The latest nbn™ comprehensive corporate plan is released. The network is expected to reach 9 million homes by 2018.

September - Fibre to the node (FTTN) technology is launched.

October - The Sky Muster satellite is launched into orbit from the Guiana Space Centre in South America. It will play a critical role in connecting 400,000 Australian homes and businesses in rural areas.