Australia has declared its National Broadband Network (NBN) is, at last, 'built and fully operational'
However, despite the declaration, itnews pointed out that more than 230,000 premises can't connect at 25Mbps, the speed deemed to represent broadband in Australia.
In addition to that, Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, admitted that 35,000 premises remain unable to connect to the network but was content to say the job has been done.
"In my view, the evidence before me shows it is appropriate to make the declaration that the NBN should be treated as built and fully operational," Fletcher said.
"Of course the government recognises that there are some premises which have not yet been made ready to connect, and I expect NBN Co to work as speedily as possible to make the network available to those premises."
NBN Co flagged that the total number of homes without connection at 100,000 at its financial year results in August this year.
The number fell to around 60,000 in November and is expected to shrink to around 35,000 by the end of the year.
Fletcher added the declaration of completion shouldn't be seen as a signal for NBN Co to cease further development.
"This declaration doesn't mean that NBN Co will stop developing," he said.
"I fully expect that the company will operate as a mature entity through continual improvement in the provision of quality services to its broadband retail customers, and ultimately to Australian households and businesses, as well as driving efficiency in its operations."
Meanwhile, telcos have been critical of the process of getting homes connected to the NBN, with Singtel-Optus boss Kelly Bayer Rosmarin saying there was room for improvement.
"We think that a lot of cost in the industry actually stems from the fact that we don't always deliver what the customer wants first time and correctly - so we have a large amount of calls, complaints," she said.
The government has since acknowledged the criticism, saying that improving service quality had been labelled a priority.
"Now that the company is shifting its focus away from the volume build (of the network), the government fully expects that this transition process will enable the company to drive further improvements in service quality, including streamlining interactions with RSPs (retail service providers)," a spokesman for Fletcher said.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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