More than 1000 homes and businesses in North Melbourne and Sydney's south will be the first to benefit from new technology under the NBN rollout that will deliver faster broadband speeds.
NBN Co is providing a limited release of its fibre-to-the-curb technology that will connect to a telecom pit near a driveway outside a home or business rather than a junction box down the street, with a larger release due in the second half of this year.
About one million premises are expected to be connected by 2020, Communications Minister Mitch Fifield says, although that could change.
"This is really good news and a further development in the evolution of the NBN," he told reporters alongside Treasurer Scott Morrison at the launch in Miranda, in Sydney's south, on Sunday.
Coburg, in Melbourne, will be the other suburb to get first access to the technology.
Who else gets it will be decided by NBN Co based on what technology "makes sense" in any given area, Senator Fifield said.
FTTC can deliver the same 100Mbps speeds as fibre-to-the-premise, as advocated by Labor, but at a lower cost, in much less time and with far less disruption to people's property, he added.
Fibre-optic cable is connected to the pit outside the home or business, with existing copper lines used to connect the Internet to the premise.
NBN Co's chief network engineering officer Peter Ryan labelled the Australian-made technology a "breakthrough".
"It allows us to deliver a lot of the benefits of fibre-to-the-premise without the inconvenience of digging front lawns of Australians," he told reporters.
"It allows us to deploy the NBN faster and at a lower cost and complete the network by 2020."
Testing has seen download speeds of over 100Mbps and more than 40Mbps uploads, he said.
That could reach a gigabit per second with the addition of new "copper acceleration technology", which is planned in selected areas by the end of the year.
Senator Fifield is confident the network will meet the speed needs of Australians once completed in 2020, but noted NBN Co would pursue upgrade options if needed.
"I think the experience people are having today is, overwhelmingly, a good one."