IT technician Robert Pettman, who lives at the suburb of Midway Point, overlooking Hobart airport, saw the lights come alive on his fibre modem about 5pm yesterday, in a service delivered by Internode via NBN Tasmania, in an historic first step towards the National Broadband Network rollout.
"It's awesome," said Mr Pettman, who works as a Senior IT Customer Support Officer in Hobart. "It's a major speed increase on what I had before, which was a 1.5 megabit per second ADSL service. Since it went live about 5pm, I've done speed tests and have seen a few peaks of 80 megabits per second, although it mostly hovers around 50Mb/s, which is what I ordered."
"An example of how this helps me is one site I visit regularly that contains high resolution photos, which usually takes around 25 seconds to load. With the new service, it was on-screen instantly. Also, I sometimes use the Internet to connect in to my office remotely. I worked from home yesterday and it was fairly slow. I don't think I'll have any problems now."
"In future, I'm really interested in what will happen with IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) services. I have a media centre that records free to air TV, so I'm quite excited to see what will happen in that space. Also, I'm planning to buy a home theatre system with an Internet connectivity setting, so I can watch YouTube movies on TV."
Mr. Pettman became Internode's first customer on the NBN Tasmania trial network after applying for a 50 megabit-per-second fibre optic broadband service at the start of June.
Internode is one of three retail service providers selected to deliver broadband services over the testbed fibre-optic network that NBN Tasmania is building. Last month, Internode unveiled breakthrough Fibre to the Home (FTTH) prices for its NBN Stage One pilot program in Tasmania.
With a 25 megabit per second plan costing just $29.95, this makes Internode's entry-level fibre price $10 less than its cheapest standalone ADSL broadband plans - the ADSL Standard or Extreme ADSL2+ plans - which each cost $39.95 a month.
Internode product manager Jim Kellett said the company had received strong demand from people living in the three areas covered by the NBN pilot program. "We've deliberately offered a service that is better priced than ADSL so that people have a real incentive to test out this new service," he said.
"We want to use this opportunity to discover how people use fast Internet services when they are not constrained by either price or speed."