FoI request targets NBN rollout stats


news A Freedom of Information request has been filed with the National Broadband Network Company seeking hard data regarding the progress in rolling out and uptake of the company’s network as at the end of 2012, as well as documents relating to the process of compiling the statistics.

Over the past several months, NBN Co has repeatedly declined to release hard statistics relating to the number of premises it completed rolling out its fibre network to to the end of 2012, as well as the number of active services using its network. The moves comes despite the fact that NBN Co had previously committed to releasing these data points quarterly, and despite the company releasing ‘soft’ rollout stats releasing to the number of premises it has issued order for construction to commence at.

However, an individual named ‘Paul Warren’ used the Right to Know website this week to file a Freedom of Information request seeking access to “any documents relating to the processes and policies for compiling and releasing” the quarterly construction statistics, as well as any documents that listed the completion status of NBN Co’s planned points of interconnect with its network, and finally, the premises passed and connected services statistics for the final quarter of 2012.

NBN Co’s FoI officer David Mesman has responded to the request, noting that under legislative requirements, NBN Co would need to make a determination in response to the request by 22 February.

Mesman added that while the normal statutory processing period for FoI requests was 30 days, the company may seek additional processing time and that some of the information Warren sought may be addressed by existing public documentation about NBN Co’s rollout, in particular with relation to the progress of NBN Co’s construction of its points of interconnect. “Please note that NBN Co publishes monthly statistics relating to POIs,” wrote Mesman, directing Warren to an NBN Co report about the issue on its web site.

Warren’s FoI request is not the first to be filed recently with NBN Co seeking updated rollout data regarding the company’s nationwide construction effort. In early December, for example, Delimiter filed a FoI request seeking updated rollout information on the company’s deployment as at 7 December.
Since that time, NBN Co has sought an extension of time to respond to the FoI request, stating that its office was shut down over the Christmas holiday period and that this and other factors meant that it would be unable to respond to the FoI request in the normal timeframe (which would have made the FoI request due on 10 January 2013). Instead, it is now planning to respond within a two month period – by 11 February.

“… the information requested falls outside of NBN Co’s normal reporting processes,” one of the company’s FoI officers wrote in an email to Delimiter seeking an extension to respond to the FoI request. “In that context, NBN Co staff are required to collect, review and – in particular – verify the above figures, which is a complex task.”

In further email communication, the FoI officer noted that to meet the FoI request, “NBN Co staff will need to collate and reconcile data from across various NBN Co databases”. They added: “This will take place over, roughly, the next month and it will take some time and planning, particularly for the formal reconciliation.”

Up until the latter quarter of last year, NBN Co was believed to have been making relatively slow progress on deploying its network, as it had primarily been in the planning stage of the deployment. However, subsequent to that period, the company was believed to have entered what it described as its rapid ramp-up phase, where it planned to have some 758,000 premises completed or commenced by the end of 2012.

NBN Co’s progress to the end of September appeared to show the company had not at that point started rapidly accelerating its network deployment, with the company at that stage only having passed slightly over 50,000 premises since it started deploying its network, and 179,790 satellite and fixed wireless premises. The company did not break up its satellite and wireless technologies into different figures, despite the fact that the technologies are completely unrelated in terms of NBN Co’s rollout.

In the quarter to 30 September this year, NBN Co only completely deployed fibre to a further 13,000 premises past where the network had previously been established — in the quarter to 30 June this year it had already reached 39,000. It had deployed 18,000 premises by 30 June 2011, the year previously.

NBN Co’s September statistics with respect to the number of premises it has active services at (where customers are actually using its network) similarly showed the company is making slow progress. At 30 September this year the company had just 6,358 fibre customers, and some 17,648 satellite and fixed wireless customers (again, here the company did not break up its satellite and wireless numbers). The company added only a few thousand active fibre services in the three months to 30 September.

The news comes the Coalition continues to sharply criticise NBN Co’s rollout speed on an ongoing basis, with Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull comparing the company’s speed to that of an “arthritic snail” and Liberal MP Paul Paul Fletcher recently describing it as a “costly failure”.

The extent to which NBN Co has rolled out its network by the time of the next Federal Election is expected to be a critical factor determining the overall future of the project. Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has repeatedly indicated that he does not see value in the project and may halt or cancel it. Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has taken a more moderate approach to the project; however, Turnbull currently prefers a more limited fibre to the node rollout, compared to the fibre to the home deployment under the current NBN model. It is unclear to what extent the Coalition will continue with the current FTTH NBN deployment, should it take power at the next election.

I believe readers are relatively familiar *cough* with my position on this issue by now. I believe that NBN Co is not being transparent enough with its disclosures around its network rollout – its key benchmark, and I believe that compiling this information should not take the amount of time NBN Co is claiming it does – given that NBN Co has close to 1,700 staff and brand new IT systems.

I am pleased to see that others in the community are also using the Freedom of Information process to attempt to source this information from NBN Co. I was planning to file a similar FoI request for the full figures from the last quarter of 2012 on the 1st of February. But now that Warren has already done that, I’ll be content to await the results of his query, which we should receive, given the strictures of the FoI legislation, within several months at the most.

If NBN Co responds to the FoI request in full, we may also receive some additional clarity on how the company puts its statistics together, which would be a very good thing.


  1. Im not with you on this endeavor mate,, I dont see what the fuss is about other than to find dirt on the NBN.
    Any figures released, no matter how positive , will be used and twisted into a negative.
    So much energy put into a personal endeavor, would be better directed at the Noalitions Policy..(Wheres Wally)

    • ‘Any figures released, no matter how positive , will be used and twisted into a negative.’

      Well we don’t have to wait for FoI results, figures released already are not very ‘positive’.

      ‘NBN Co’s September statistics with respect to the number of premises it has active services at (where customers are actually using its network) similarly showed the company is making slow progress. At 30 September this year the company had just 6,358 fibre customers, and some 17,648 satellite and fixed wireless customers (again, here the company did not break up its satellite and wireless numbers). The company added only a few thousand active fibre services in the three months to 30 September.’

      You can always hope that between September 2012 and February this year (assuming they are released then from the FoI request!) there will be a sudden avalanche of connections, but it’s not likely given the trend so far.

        • Oh, right, you buried a quote in between comments. Still, four months have passed.

          On a project delayed by Telstra and in the process of ramping up.

          • Oh I see the ‘dog ate my homework’ stuff is coming out already, I assume the ‘it’s Telstra’s fault’ can be used right up to the night before the next election if need be.

  2. While I support the aims and activities of NBN Co, I’m perfectly happy for people to use the legal means to hold them to account.

    This is an election year. With the NBN as one of the ALP’s policy crown jewels, there will be tremendous pressure on NBN Co to deliver good news stories and to affirm that substantial progress is being made.

    I’m equally aware that the Opposition will distort and misrepresent any progress on the rollout, but there is a conterbalancing temptation for any political office to skew the presentation of facts in a “positive” light.

    In light of this, the unadorned facts matter. That hysteria and derangement may result is an unfortunate result. But responsible journalists and commentators, such as the eminent proprietor of this fine online establishment, are more than capable of offering fair analysis. I expect encourage them to do so.

    • Im reasonably sure Renai will be fair, but the FIO / Deadline stuff , has already given ammunition to the Fud Brigade. They wont stop, and will use anything Renai has, to boost their campaign.

      • Well in that case, you should be happy that the FUD brigade are using something that resembles ‘the truth’

    • Thanks for your confidence!

      I’ve mentioned several times that I am personally confident things are going well with the NBN rollout. But I’d still like to see the stats :) Evidence, evidence, evidence. I am somewhat obsessed with evidence at times.

      • Obsessed with evidence? Nah, I don’t think anyone noticed!

        Being a bit more serious, frankly, without stats, there isn’t anything to measure the NBN Progress (unless you count dollars being spent, but that’s not exactly a fair measurements…. politicians certainly wouldn’t want their pay measured in such a way). I’m glad you’re chasing them up about it, even though personally I feel that every 3 months is ok (although they still have to answer for the last quarter) but monthly is a lot better.

        Oh, and as always Renai, keep up the good work!

  3. “we may also receive some additional clarity on how the company puts its statistics together”

    Could you actually put in a FOI on that? Seems a bit dodgy to me that it takes them so long to pull those figures together, but a more info on why it does would clarify things a lot.

    • To further expand on your point a bit here, my wife works for a state owned company that is fairly regularly subject to FOI requests and it’s not as easy as getting together a couple of spread sheets and emailing them through.

      I seriously doubt that the NBN like my wife’s place of employment have a dedicated team that respond to FOI, and even it they did the response would still require time and effort from other employees that work in the areas of which the information is being sort.

      The finding, compiling and validating of all the information takes significant amounts of time that puts a lot of extra pressure on resources (and to make it worse normally they come out of left field so they can’t really be planned for).

      So to again use my wife as an example, she might be juggling 2 or 3 projects with budgets in the millions of dollars, as well as her normal business as usual work, and somehow has to try and fit in time to trawl for information in relation to FOI. Times it by about 20 people (it’s very rarely just one person that will have to provide information) and you get a feel for how disruptive it can be.

      I am not saying FOI is bad or shouldn’t exist, I am just saying maybe put a side the conspiracy theories for a second with regards to why they can’t be as punctual as you like, because the reality is they are probably prepping the data as fast as they can without forcing people to do ridiculous amount of overtime.

      • I work for a uni, at any given time, I can find out how many PC’s there are for staff and students across several campuses. I can check what software is installed on pretty well any PC here with a couple of clicks. I can check on the status of any port in any building, what subnet it’s on, and what device is connected to it.

        I can find this out easily, because they are core metrics for our business.

        Any business that requires 3 months to work out it’s core metrics, in this day and age, has some pretty big issues.

        • I also work for a uni, and I can also do all of the above, however I certainly couldn’t get it into a decent report ready for an FOI request in a couple of clicks unless the FOI request managed to perfectly match information that an existing report produced.

          Also I’m not sure if you have read the article but the stats are only one part of the FOI request, they are also asking for documents that relate the process and procedures. That could and probably does include trawling emails and meeting minutes as well as providing the official policies and procedures docs.

          • +1 to both you posts.

            It seems a large portion of readers here think that it would be as easy as doing a “sum all” function in excel.

            I am not saying that I believe NBNco have been the picture of transperancy or speed with their FoI requests to date. If they so wished they could have chosen to work in better with Renai, even releasing what figures they could manage.

            However I feel it is too early to say that NBNco are stonewalling or treating the process with contempt. It is later than it should be for a release, there are any number of reasons why that may be.

        • “I work for a uni, at any given time, I can find out how many PC’s there are for staff and students across several campuses. I can check what software is installed on pretty well any PC here with a couple of clicks. I can check on the status of any port in any building, what subnet it’s on, and what device is connected to it.”

          To use your analogy, running a report on the above is not the end of the story (especially for an FOI request, where you have to be sure the data is 100% accurate):
          – You would then need to validate the information to account for any devices that are temporarily disconnected for maintenance, are not reporting correctly etc.
          – As the information request was as at a particular date you can’t just run the report now and have it be correct either, you have to go back through all paperwork (some of which may not yet have been submitted yet) to check for installs, updates, maintenance requests and so on.
          – You can’t just do this yourself either, you need to make requests from other areas.
          – You have to do this across multiple sites and vendors across all of australia.
          – You have to compile this information into a report suitable for public distribution.
          – You have to run it by your legal team.
          – You have to do this on top of your regular duties.

          It’s great that you can just press a few buttons and make all that happen.. As for me, I’m in large scale infrastructure project delivery and my world is obviously not as simple as yours. 3 months is a long time but while I can understand the frustration at the delay, I can also understand the cause of it.

  4. I have no issue with reporters and pundits holding NBNco to the old fire.

    Do believe there’s a certain degree of “they must be hiding something” logic behind a number of the FOI requests though.

    What I do note is that the same intense gaze is entirely absent from Turnbull’s lack of policy. You have to question why that balance seems absent, really.

    • Straining out the Gnat with the NBN but Gulping down the camel with the Alternate Policy?

    • @Brendan

      ‘What I do note is that the same intense gaze is entirely absent from Turnbull’s lack of policy. You have to question why that balance seems absent, really.’

      A FoI request to determine active connections of a Government infrastructure project already in place with substantial millions already expended to determine the active connection rate as specified in the NBN business plan is reaching its target, is not the same as analyzing the opposition parties Communications policy 7-9 months out from the next election.

      The equivalent ‘intense gaze’ you are after here is FoI requests on active connections etc of the Coalition NBN rollout if they win in 2013.

      • Sorry alain, you can’t just making a sweeping statement that both claims the specifics of the NBNco’s actions are vital to know, yet the Liberal alternative is irrelevant.

        EIther both are, or both aren’t.

        Don’t get me wrong, I want to see the numbers as much as the next person. And that’d be the case whether it was NBNco, or TurnbullCo.

        • But we are not analyzing a Coalition rollout and determining if it meets published targets as per their version of the NBN Co business plan, and before you get carried away with wanting to apply a ‘intense gaze’ to the Coalition policy keep in mind the Labor NBN Co Business Plan was made public in December 2010 well AFTER the August 2010 election, the result of which was a hung Parliament.

        • alain is actually correct, the Libs NBN is irrelevant at this point in time. It isn’t the plan that has billions being spent on it and it may never even actually come to fruition. That why it’s pointless comparing them.

          I’ve pointed out the flaws in it several times and, personally, I think it’s a waste of everyone time to keep bringing it up unless it actually gets a lot of work done on it by MT and it looks like being an actual alternative, rather than a Liberal fairytale.

          The Libs have a lot of work to do this year, they need to stop looking like an opposition and start looking like an alternate government that actually has workable policies.

          • Good point actually gents…

            Without getting drawn into the typical us vs. them, which always seems to be the case when corresponding with alain, we should be perusing the NBN numbers as it is the current roll out. Perhaps still a bit early to be of any great help anyway, but regardless…

            In saying that, I would still nonetheless like more definites on the Coalition’s alternative. But realistically, as MT has changed his mind/plan on umpteen occasions (not once on expert advice, like the current government) including not having, having and then not having a completely costed and ready plan… there’s probably no point.

          • My my what selective memory you have, let’s look at the history of Labor Communications Policy on the NBN.

            Labor Election 2007 Policy going into the election was a FTTN solution that’s what was voted on and helped them win a 83 seat majority over Howard.

            Post election 2007 Labor changed policy again and went for a private/Government partnership RFP fibre solution either FTTN or FTTH , the RFP was cancelled and Labor changed policy again to a totally Government owned FTTH solution.

            Election 2010 Labor went into the election without any NBN business plan, NBN Business Plan was finally produced four months after Gillard was elected.

            You are correct there is no need to look for a in-depth Coalition plan nor according to Labor precedent should we expect one.

          • Wow a dozen or so questions later you decide now to respond, when a question wasn’t even asked of you :/

            And no, my memory is fine (thank you for you concern) and certainly less selective than yours… which is incomplete and blind to many aspects, such as…

            * the then (2007) Rudd opposition having their broadband plan out months before the Howard government
            * the Howard government referring to the FttN plan as “fraudband”
            * the Rudd government asking for RFP’s to build the NBN
            * The RFP’s asking for FttN or FttP
            * Telstra submitting a non-compliant bid and rightly being omitted
            * a PoE in comms and business adjudicating that FttN was not the way to go
            * a government who, instead of refusing to listen, changed tack on this expert advice
            * The government going into the 2010 election having already clearly outlined the current NBN, here…

            Shall I continue… I think we all get the gist. But it is evident that you selectively forgot to mention all of these things, didn’t you?

            Anyway… thank you for todays inevitable anti-NBN contradiction, by claiming that broadband had an impact in 2007, after having previously screamed to the high heavens that it had no affect whatsoever in 2010.

            Funny you say it impacted so in 2007 but not at all in 2010… quite curious?

            Regardless, Id suggest for one’s credibility, for you to now go back through the other threads, where you have made many baseless claims and answer (if you can) my plethora of unanswered questions… please?

            Thank you.

          • My apologies alain…

            I see you have indeed finally accepted (after many denials and arguments with me previously) that the RFP’s were in fact asking for FttN or FttP.


            Gee now knowing you were absolutely wrong suggesting previously that the RFP’s were FttN only (and also incorrect with 7T re: comments made by MT) ever thought that just maybe…. nah

  5. While I think its a bit premature to hound NBN Co over 1 periods stats, that doesnt mean I dont respect the passion behind the requests.

    Bit curious though. Would the regular quarterly report be sufficient to meet the FOI request? I know its a little late (by a couple of weeks), which I put down to delays caused by Christmas/New Year, but that just means it cant be too far away anyhow – part of why I think constant hounding is a waste of time.

    So if it DOES come out, for arguments sake next Tuesday, does that meet the requirements of the request or not? And if not, would it satisfy peoples needs anyway?

  6. seems like someone finally bothered to ask nbnco how they generate their stats – told you you should have done it.

  7. To have a fair and equitable comparison, I hope you plan to compare this to, say, the early stages of rollout of ubiquitous telephone services back in the 1960s..

    Some interesting reported facts from history (gleaned from Trove)

    In the mid 1940s it was debated whether telephones should be an essential national service.

    Some interestng tidbits found in newspapers
    In Dec 1948 there were a total of 22 trunk lines connecting Adelaide and Melbourne (so a maximum of 22 simultaneouls calls could be made)

    As at June 30 1953, there was one telephone to every six persons in Australia (Austrlaia had a population of

    In 1954 there were 82912 telephone lines added to the network. There were 56739 applications outstanding.

    Capital expenditure in 1954 on telephone lines and equipment was £31M. In 2012 terms this is 1 billion dollars. That was spent on on 83000 lines and associated equipment and infrastructure.
    Calculated source:

    In 1979, new phones were being installed at the rate of 2000 per day. (This implies 730,000 in 1979 were installed)
    In 1979, they the cost to Telecom of a phone service was 38% cheaper than 4 years earlier

    In 1881, Melbourne had 128 telephone lines.

    Trunk lines in place shown here:

    In 1959 there were 1.5 million telephone lines in operation.
    in 1979, there were 4 million telephone lines in operation.
    In the 20 year period “Billions” of dollars were spent on the telephone network. Point of comparison: $1B in 1979 is $4.2B in 2012.


    Use history to predict the future, not quibble about whether they tell you a fact on a network that is in an early stage of rollout.

    • Interesting Richard.. My my , how we have become a nation of “i want it now”

    • @Richard Dale

      ‘To have a fair and equitable comparison, I hope you plan to compare this to, say, the early stages of rollout of ubiquitous telephone services back in the 1960s..’

      Well we would if it actually was a fair and equitable comparison, first of all I wasn’t aware that a existing telephone service infrastructure already existed which was shut down to make way for the new 1940’s and onwards model telephone service.

      Secondly there was not a wireless telephone service in place that competed for customers on the 1940-1970 PSTN service, nor was their a requirement for landlines to carry data as well as voice with a multitude of product technological choices and costs to choose from to connect up a residence.

      ‘Use history to predict the future, not quibble about whether they tell you a fact on a network that is in an early stage of rollout.’

      Using history to predict the future is a rocky road indeed, and not just for the reasons I have outlined above for this particular situation, ask any share broker or anyone that lost thousands from their Superannuation Fund during the GFC.

      • …”nor was their a requirement for landlines to carry data as well as voice”…

        Exactly, because the landlines were designed for voice, the fact they could do data too was convenient. Sure it did ok while it could but it is obsolete for data.

        As it’s been said before though, it’s a good thing the ant–NBN dooms-dayers weren’t around back when, because we wouldn’t have a PSTN.

        After all what applications are there to warrant every home in Australia having this socialist, telephone?

        I don’t this wasteful telephone and don’t want to be forced to have one, because I currently have choice and will never need more than letters, pigeons and smoke signals.

  8. January Monthly RFS is out as someone has already posted.

    No doubt we’ll see the Quarterly report shortly. Which covers both of Renai’s FOI requests (doesn’t it Renai?)

    The ONLY thing I’m interested to see is if some information can be shared on collation of Premises Passed. That may indicate why it takes so long. But I don’t have a problem WITH IT taking so long.

  9. Highlights of the montly rollout info:

    98,800 premises added to the brownfields fiber build queue.

    Half of the build queue at end December has been added since August, as part of the ramp up in September 2012. (377k out of 742k after August)

    The 90th percentile of premises time, (which allows for the difficult sites to be delayed while giving an indication of completion times), is down to 13 months (eg FSAM started in December 2011) from 16 months last month (September 2011 in November info) Based on the NBN’s 12 month projected construction period, the completion times are still too long by several months but there were problems with the second release sites, and the delays are moving in the right direction.

    You might be able to make a channel stuffing argument about the ramp up, but the dropping 90th percentile time shows that the first and second release sites are moving off the construction list.

    What NBN co should also release monthly is the completed FASM list with the actual ready for service dates as they are completed.

    • That’s some quick work Lachlan!

      I was getting a bit worried about the 90th % time, as you said- 16 months was far too far from their “average” 12 months. If it’s back down to 13 that shows they’re chomping through.

      I like the idea of the FSAM list- unfortunately, I think it’d give the Coalition too much ammunition for FUD, because they’d choose all those which had been delayed, ignoring those which were faster or on time and push it as “incompetence, blowout, waste” etc. If we were dealing with a private company, no doubt we’d never even get to see the data we have. It’d be great to ask for the completed FSAM data, but I wouldn’t expect the government to be happy for NBNCo. to hand it over, even if they wanted to.

      Looks to me like they’re getting on top of the challenging ones. There’s a few to go- I know a few people complaining over on WP they’re in Second Release sites in WA and haven’t seen any activity yet, so it’d be good to get them done and dusted.

      Now for the Quarterly premises passed. If I added up right, we should be seeing about 85 000-90 000 premises passed in total for the Dec 2012 quarter. Possibly a bit higher.

      • The investors fronting the funds for a firm that was not going to generate a profit for 10 years would probably be able to get any statistics they wanted from a private company.

        • @Michael

          And where do you get such assumptions?

          The BOARD would have access to it. And, if a main investor had a member on the board, they would have access to it if required.

          AFAIK, the government doesn’t have a member on the NBNCo. board….

          In any case, we’re comparing Apples and Oranges. NBNCo. may be a trading company, but they’re not a PUBLICLY trading company. Yet.

          If you have an issue with the way NBNCo. report, you are free to write to the Senate Committee (the equivalent of a board representative I suppose) and ask that they make it monthly. Otherwise, sorry, but tough cheese, that’s what the Committee are happy with.

          • “And where do you get such assumptions?”

            Simply by comparing apples to apples and not oranges.

            In the private sector it would not be a publically listed firm on the stock exchange. I challenge you to write an IPO for a firm that has yet to generate a profit and will not do so for 10 years. Let alone after writing the IPO find anyone willing to underwrite your IPO.

            This is a company that is in that stages preceding public finance. Venture Capital. Private Equity if you are lucky. Angel Investors. There are many different terms depending on the source and size of finding required but that is the type of funding for a project in this stage of developement.

            You are correct in that it is not a public company in the tradditional sense that it is listed on the ASX. Nor should it be treated as such. It is wholely funded by government equity.

          • Great, so we just established NBNCo. aren’t a “normal” public company….and?

            Like I said, you have a problem with their reporting period? Make a submission to the Senate Committee. Hell, you might even get a public reading if enough of them think it important.

            Until then wishing and abusing/FUDing them when they don’t report when you want them to is far from constructive.

            As the saying goes:

            “If wishes were horses…..”

          • @seven_tech

            ‘ Otherwise, sorry, but tough cheese, that’s what the Committee are happy with.’

            Well I am not sure that’s entirely true.

            ‘Mr Oakeshott is the chairman of the joint parliamentary committee into the NBN and a strong supporter of Labor’s preferred strategy of ­connecting 93 per cent of households and businesses to fibre-optic cabling.

            But he said the government had not been providing the public with all the key details and data needed to properly monitor the NBN’s progress.’

            ‘Mr Oakeshott said he did not understand why the government was reticent about providing his committee with up-to- date financial and construction data on the NBN.’



          • Perhaps it’s just a technicality ;)

            Well such excuses are apparently most acceptable for Telstra.

          • @alain

            It’s not the government that is the problem. If the Committee wish for NBNCo. to report the numbers more often, then they can make a recommendation and jump up and down about it when it isn’t followed. This is the first time I’ve heard Oakeshott mention this. So perhaps we WILL see a recommendation from the Committee this time around. I have no issue with that.

            Until NBNCo. are ASKED to give monthly reports, I’ll be happy with them continuing to provide the Quarterly reports they HAVE been asked to give. And I will continue to defend their right to provide ONLY Quarterly reports until that time.

            PS- It may only be Oakeshott who feels this way- I think Scott Ludlam (I believe) at one time in the Committee hearings expressed his concern about NBNCo. releasing figures every month as it would be “micro-managing”. If Oakeshott is the only one (or the minority) then he can’t make the recommendation. Unfortunately, that’s tough bikkies.

  10. If you do another FOI request, Renai, ask them if they report the target and/or actual ‘premises passed’ and ‘premises with active service’ numbers internally each month. If they report them internally they should be able to produce them for you quite easily.

  11. There’s a little quirk with the comparison of “premises passed” with “premises with an active connection”.

    For example: yesterday, it was announced that around 9000 sites went live, including parts of Toowoomba, Coffs Harbour and South Hobart. As of yesterday, 9000 was added to the list of “premises passed”, as the fibre is active and able to be put into service.

    However, as of today, I imagine that a bare handful (if any) of services will be active in those sites. Why? Because they are only just switched on! Even if I live in one of those areas and have been slavering at the prospect of an NBN service, it’s unlikely that I’ll be online for at least another week or two – and quite possibly longer, unless the teams are fully up to speed drilling holes into my house and installing those shiny new NTUs.

    Some of the figures I’ve seen from (I think) NBN Co and from Senator Conroy have preferred to talk about the numbers of active services after 12 months – and I must say, this seems an eminently reasonable metric (if applied consistently), as it gives time for the market for services to reach a natural level, and gives all those who desire an NBN connection a reasonable time to consider it, choose a plan, and arrange for home installation.

    • The only time at which “premises with active connections” is relevant is when copper is decommissioned from the area.

      I’m not sure of the exact timeframe for this, but the first NBN sites are facing copper decommission after 18 months of NBN was switched on there.

      Clearly ISPs who own DSLAMs will not be actively marketing people to transfer to NBN immediately – they want to get the maximum ROI out of their own infrastructure, so it’s the “18 month” timeframe that is most applicable.

      From a business perspective, this is where the network starts to become viable. At all points before this, it’s just a loss making scenario – just we don’t know the value of the loss because it’s “early days” and, over a 20 year period, is probably only a small difference in profit.

  12. Howdy excellent blog! Does running a blog such as this take a massive amount work?

    I’ve very little understanding of computer programming however I was hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyway, if you have any recommendations or techniques for new blog owners please share. I understand this is off topic however I just needed to ask. Appreciate it!

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