NBN Co to beat June target, says iTNews



blog It’s been a while since we’ve heard good news from the National Broadband Company. Recently whenever NBN Co has been in the media, it’s been a constant stream of issues around executive departures, contractual disputes, and of course the great political no-no — delays in the company’s actual infrastructure rollout program. However, according to an analysis done by iTNews, NBN Co may actually be back on track to meet its target for the end of June. The publication reports (we recommend you click here for the full, detailed analysis):

“The turnaround is captured in the latest update to the company’s Ready For Service spreadsheet … iTnews’ analysis shows NBN Co is on track to pass between 171,836 and 185,808 brownfields premises with fibre by the end of June. Its target is between 155,000 and 175,000.”

Personally I’m not surprised by this development if it turns out to be true. The last time NBN Co chief executive Mike Quigley appeared before the Parliament and the media to discuss NBN Co’s rollout figures, the executive appeared both a little frustrated and angry (for not being able to keep the rollout on track), as well as a little contrite, for the same reason. There’s a humility about Quigley — the humility that all good engineers display — that does the executive credit. I suspect Quigley has pulled out all the stops to make sure the NBN rollout is back on track. And a very good thing that will be indeed. Even the Coalition will have to agree that a well-run NBN rollout which delivers on its targets would be in everyone’s interests ;)


    • Hahahaha.
      Tony Abbott’s Coalition and agreeing are two concepts entirely foreign to one another.

      I’m wondering what spin Malcolm will put on this latest news next. Come on, Mal, give us something creative.

  1. Haha that’s blind optimism in the face of demonstrable evidence to the contrary – the coalition will agree with no such thing and will instead attack NBN Co’s credibility. They’ll probably try to take credit for it, too…

  2. I disagree – a well-run rollout that delivers I’d not in the interests of the Coalition. They’ll have to much egg on their faces if NBNCo start connecting tend of thousands of premises. It’ll also give the average punter a hint that the NBN fibre isn’t that far away after all, and if they vote Coalition, it may not work out better…

  3. Here in Wollongong we’ve started to get the flyers stating that we’ll be wired up some time in the next 4 weeks, or for some friends, letts from their ISP’s basically stating the same. Its so close you can almost taste it.

    There are a lot of areas that will be like that, where all the foundation work has been done, and the actual rollout is commencing. Its that which is going to seriously inflate the figures over the next couple of months, as the work of the past 12 months gets the results they always intended.

    Somehow I cant help but think that The Turnbull will be putting some sort of twist on any numbers that are released, and belittling the achievements.

    • Rollout has started in Blacktown a few km from me. Hoping it gets here before the election

      • Sweet.

        Before some paranoid idiot jumps on it, I should correct my comment that “we’ll be wired up”. I meant, of course, that we would be fibred. No wire included.

        Or at least I hope not. Small MDU, wont be hard to hit every unit with fibre, but the strata managers havent commited one way or the other.

    • Easy he will compare it to the old numbers and if they managed to beat those the older numbers or just make it up.

      • I’m picturing it now “I have here the January 2013 rollout targets, which, in black and white I might add, that they will pass eleventy squillion premises by June!” and conveniently leave out that the numbers were changed not long after.

        So we have two ways The Turnbull can minimise any impact – old rollout targets, and rollout v connected. Thats plenty for him.

  4. As always you have to absolutely love the small print.

    “Obviously these numbers are based on NBN Co’s Ready for Service expectations, rather than actual achievements.”

    • These numbers were used to show NBNCo were falling behind just a few months back I did not see you complaining then!

    • It matters from a physical roll out perspective.
      From an economic perspective obviously take-up rates are the key indicator of performance.

      I for one am happy that they are monitoring both things. Rather than taking your opinion that they shouldn’t bother reporting or monitoring roll out schedules.

      Also; where was the fine print? I believe its a “roll out” target, not an “active premises” target. For a monopoly wholesale provider actual “take up” figures don’t hit volume until 12 months from right about now. (ie when they start turning off the copper in the volume roll out areas).

    • And as always we can expect to nitpick any good news about NBN.

      Let see if you can do the same with the coalition plan. You know the one that you have no doubt will delivered on time, at maximum speed on perfect copper, that will be cheap to upgrade, but not for many years, and, of course, will be so much cheaper for everyone.

    • If you dig into the data, the actual number of brownfields passed (i.e. done, finished, not future planning) was:

      Dec 2012: 46k
      March 2013: 68k

      Now the plan is, June 2013: 170k

      That would mean in three months they would have to deliver twice the number of brownfields premises they did in their entire existence up to March 2013. I’m skeptical.

        • Spending $9million on connections with the product called ‘quik-boost’ helps a lot eh?

          • iTnews’ analysis shows NBN Co is on track to pass between 171,836 and 185,808 brownfields premises with fibre by the end of June. Its target is between 155,000 and 175,000.

            Now, let us for a moment subtract the 8,500 that the iiNet deal gives them, for the sake of arguement.

            In the worst case the passed 163.3 thousand connections, in the best case they passed 177.3 thousand connections. So, how precisely did this “quik-boost” help them meet their revised targets? It didn’t, because without it, they’re still within target.

          • You are using two sets of figures and categorising them as the same, the first is what this discussion is all about is NBN ‘ready for service expectations’ by the end of June.

            The iiNet TransAct purchase is actual figures, it gives a instant boost to premises passed AND active connections without the NBN Co doing anything in terms of the physical rollout of fibre and waiting for the lag of RSP’s selling from new areas and feeding them additions to the active connection figures.

            By the end of June it may well make a difference in meeting ACTUAL targets as distinct from the ready for service predicted expectations by then.

          • They might, but the evidence we have right now suggested that they won’t.

            If that happens then we’ll address that come July.

            Until then, you just need to deal with the reality that they are not buying the iiNet connections to boost their numbers as you have continually tried to assert since the deal was reported.

          • The Transact figures will be readily ascertained, they do not figure in the current stats

  5. This is not the action of an incompetent, wasteful company/government. I’m sure Malcolm will be able to explain why this article is wrong any time now! Maybe Fibroid or Mathew could take a crack at it first?

    Thanks for the FYI Renai :)

    • Fibroid’s already hinted at the likely ‘scandal’. The passed figure is ‘clearly’ pointless, and the only figure that matters is the connected figure. Didnt you get the memo?

      Oh, crap. Forgot to turn sarcasm off…

    • So managing to limp over the line and meet a target that was only created a few months ago and is a 50% revision from the actual target is a sign of competence?

      It would be absolutely disgraceful if NBNco failed to meet their new 600/day target this year, they are meant to be doing 6000/day in 2 years and were meant to be doing 1200/day this year.

      As is they 98k they were meant to pass in May turned into 0k of actual completed areas (although a few thousand sub areas came online).

      • And so it begins…

        It’s clear that anyone who shares the above sentiment isn’t actually interested in rational debate regarding the motivation, progress and alternatives of the NBN. You’ll never be content with anything NBNCo does.

      • So, they dammed if they do and …. they dammed if they don’t.

        Well done Michael. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us.

        • So revising targets downwards then not meeting that revised target, then revising it again then not meeting that revised target is how it should be and everything is all ok?

          • As I said before:

            It’s clear that anyone who shares the above sentiment isn’t actually interested in rational debate regarding the motivation, progress and alternatives of the NBN. You’ll never be content with anything NBNCo does.

          • Anyone interested in the future of communication in this country should be pleased to see NBN co get back on track.

            Should your beloved LNP plan get a chance to be put into effect, I will be waiting to read the same amount of nitpicking on your part, should they encounter any delays or blow outs.

            Your problem is that you are so busy defending your political bed fellows’ second rate network, you are incapable of looking at the bigger picture. Which is not whether the LNP is god’s gift to Australia but whether ultimately Australia gets the network it deserves.

            To be sure, my support of the current rollout is not related to my views about the ALP. Should the coalition finally decides that it is, after all, the best solution, it would not in any way change my support.

          • So revising targets downwards then not meeting that revised target, then revising it again then not meeting that revised target is how it should be and everything is all ok?

            All projects need to have their targets reviewed regularly, what’s your point? That all projects are failures? That project management practices in Australia aren’t up to par?

            Many companies revise targets, both projects and sales. We don’t live in a perfect world and any companies that DON”T revise targets are the ones that more than likely have issues.

      • Mike,

        You’re right. Screw it.

        Lets just abandon an active project that is delivering results (because it’s a little bit hard to accurately predict specific numbers down to 13 decimal places ahead of time for a network build that’s never been done before) despite being on track to meet set objectives.

        NBNco is delivering. Despite all of the issues it’s faced, almost every single one Turnbull’s network build would also have to face.

      • @Michael

        Careful Michael,

        Remember when I had to eat humble pie over the original set of figures? I’d be careful not get too angsty about NBNCo. now beginning to make up time. Sure, these might be revised projections and yes, it might simply be adequate to even surpass them. But what happens if they continue to do so?

        You are of the opinion NBNCo. are incompetent. So far, you’ve not been able to show how, simply that you think someone else could’ve managed it better. That doesn’t make them incompetent. Simply not perfect.

        A project that, while not perfect and at times, slow to respond to criticism and question, has been upfront about all costs, all timings and all projections, EVEN when they turned out bad? If that’s incompetent, then I’d like to call Oxford and get them to change the definition. Seems to me a government sponsored project that does that is a breath of fresh air compared to 95% of most similar projects….

  6. Considering the troubles, I wouldn’t have been surprised that Quigley had put the foot down… on the back of some people’s necks.

    Any plan can be subjected to delays because of unforseen issues. It’s recovering from them is harder.

  7. I am not surprised by these targets. To be honest when they released the revised figures; I would have expected that the revised targets would have equated to their just-about worst case scenario. (You don’t want to miss your already-revised revised targets).

    The fact that they will exceed them by a small margin indicates that things did not go to their worst-case scenario.

    Also; none of this is concrete, and is all speculation by the sounds of things. Don’t count your chickens etc. (surprised none of the typical argumentative types haven’t brought that up yet).

  8. If the figures come in on target i expect the cry from the coalition to be that the numbers have been fudged and can’t be trusted

  9. Interesting addition

    Of course it is NBN and Conroys fault to a particular sector.

    The interesting one


    “New documents obtained by The Australian Financial Review show that once work in an FSAM begins, NBN Co is budgeting about five months for physical design work (which includes drafting detailed design documents, field inspections and rodding and roping), and for “remediation” or repairs to Telstra’s infrastructure.

    Sources said that in Project 45, Telstra was able to complete this physical design work and remediations for about 15,000 homes in the five areas in just four weeks – leaving only the installation of fibre uncompleted.”

    “The FSAMs, which typically cover about 3000 premises each, were outside the NBN’s three-year rollout plan at the time, and were spread across the country, with two in Victoria, two in NSW and one in Queensland.”

    Carefully selected areas I assume, see first link

    • Motive??
      Several possibilities
      Key factors
      1) Out of current 3 year rollout areas, so not of real value at this time to NBN, first POI’s and Backhaul need to be established.
      2) NBN must budget time conservatively, allow time for councils, utilities, community objections,remediation etc.
      3) Libs will be in power and are intending to review NBN organisation, Telstra presenting as more efficient and effective by cherry picking, yet not actually helping nbn rollout. ??? – How were the council approvals fast tracked ?

    • @Waterytowers

      It’s certainly relevant for their DWDM modules at FANs and I’m certain they’re watching with interest for future capacity upgrades for the backbone, but it won’t directly effect GPON systems in the near-medium future.

  10. The only thing the NBN ever did on time was give themselves a pay rise. They are ahead in digging up asbestos and advertising “Connect to the NBN” when most can’t. Simply letter box drop the few than can and save the money for a business plan.

    • You are obviously not a fan.

      Just to keep it honest, NBN is not digging absestos, Telstra is.

      • Sad that’s the only omission in my post. No not a fan and insulted by the waste of money especially in advertising. The NBN went wrong from day one, check out the top level staff turnover. They act as if they are above the law and sadly they are above the competition laws. Telstra can’t advertise wireless against the NBN for example.

        • That wasn’t the only omission. Could not be bothered to argue about the futility of the other points or the further ones you make.

          Not being a fan obviously colour your perception and therefore the things you focus on.

          • Not quite. I would much prefer the debate to be bipartisan and for useful criticism to be raised to improve NBNco, instead of nitpicking to fit in with the narrative than Labor can’t do a thing right and the LNP has all the answers.

          • Sorry can’t help you’re cause. Sounds nice if money were unlimited and never had to be paid back as all the “go check your accounts for free money” suggest but in the real world normally failure on this scale has some consequences.

          • Sounds nice if money were unlimited and never had to be paid back as all the “go check your accounts for free money”

            Even so, “free money” isn’t a good reason to vote for the Liberals, as we all found out with John Howard ;-)

  11. Some background: Patrick Flannigan April 2011 – One of the most senior executives at NBN Co has quit three days after a controversial decision to suspend negotiations with 14 contractors for a key contract to lay fibre cables around the country over fears of price gouging.

    It’s been going to the dogs ever since. The NBN’s idea of connected is houses “passed” that’s like saying being pregnant is sitting on a warm seat.

    After all this time try to connect in Melbourne and see how far you get regardless of the propaganda filled money wasting Labor Party adverts.

    • Couldn’t be bothered about the typos or your “everything is wrong about the NBN” approach. Nice of you to have stopped by and shared your wisdom with us.

      • “Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us.” seems to be what you say to anyone that dares to criticise your beloved NBN. I think you’re on their or the Labor parties payroll. I am a tax payer who hates seeing his money wasted like this.

        If the NBN was held to any normal standard of commercial competence the board would be in real trouble. Change of government can’t come soon enough to give these clowns a wake up and you can then get a real job too.

        • @TG

          FYI this is an evidence based forum and certainly not a forum for blatant election campaigning.

          We are here to discuss the issues rationally and without the typical MSM BS…

          Unsubstantiated or already refuted comments (such as inferring your income taxes are paying for the NBN, making analogies to free money, stating NBNCo think they are above the law/competition laws etc) just aren’t tolerated.

          I’m just letting you know, as one who has already felt the wrath… but now fully agrees that such baseless commenting is not welcome, as it simply drags the level of discussion down to the lowest level.


        • How nice to show your true colours. First of all, I am not on anybody’s payroll nor am I naive (or stupid) enough to believe that any politician hold the key to solving problems.

          Furthermore, you wouldn’t have a clue whether I have a real job or not.

          Lastly, you are right I usually thanks those who come to this forum with nothing but political bile for their visit because like you they contribute very little to the debate.

        • You seem pretty ignorant of the actual facts TG, you should try reading a few articles that aren’t on something hosted by a Murdoch company…

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