Just 41 mainland NBN customers so far

33

Despite the fact that the National Broadband Network was officially switched on in test sites in the NSW city of Armidale in mid-May, the Australian today reports adoption in the area has so far been relatively slow:

“In Armidale, the NBN has just 31 active customers of 4200 homes connected to the network, only a modest improvement on the seven customers connected to the grid when it went live in May.”

Another whopping ten customers have been connected so far on the NSW South Coast region, which was launched last week, making for a sum total of 41 customers connected on the mainland so far (although there are, of course, a few more connected in South Australia as well).

Now sure, we understand that the network is in its early days, it’s still being rolled out, NBN service providers are still working out how the whole process works and so on … but 41 customers after a few months? If these statistics are accurate, it seems like rolling out the NBN in rural locations first may not have been the best idea … one can’t imagine such poor take-up numbers if the NBN came to the urban areas of Sydney or Melbourne first, for example.

Thoughts?

Image credit: Iamwahid, royalty free

33 COMMENTS

  1. One must remember that these are trial “customers”, hand picked by the ISPs for testing purposes. Commercial services don’t begin until October 1st.

    • I agree, but still … there are thousands of people with fibre now rolled out to their homes, yet only dozens connected months after the fibre was actually laid. Seems a bit slow …?

      • Depends on your perspective. Slow, maybe. Ready for volume rollout? No.

        You’ve got to allow the ISPs to test their OSS/BSS interfaces to NBN Co’s systems to ensure everything is 100% ship shape, or when the volumes of connecting users kicks into gear, it’ll all fall in a shit heap for that ISP.

        Worry about numbers after October 1.

        • Makes you wonder how all the ten’s of thousands of residences on TransACT and Greenfield FTTH are doing it, perhaps NBN fibre is a different colour and requires extra testing, oh and I nearly forgot the NBN Co is still working out that new invention of the century – VOICE!

        • “Worry about numbers after October 1.”

          yeah right MW, and if they still don’t look to healthy and they won’t there is always the good old NBN book of excuses to dip into to:

          1. Residences are on existing BB contracts, note when this is stated there is never any statistics to support the argument, just saying it is good enough.
          In the first rollout areas in Tasmania where it is over 12 months since the rollout and the figures still don’t look healthy just don’t say anything about them anymore, move on, refer to the new areas as the exciting ‘new frontiers’.

          2. Landlords are slow in returning approvals, once again there is never any statistics to support this argument, just saying is good enough.

          3. There were not enough ‘NBN explained’ booklets in non-English, yep you guessed it no statistics again, just saying it is sufficient.

          On no account state the bleeding obvious, most residences are happy with what they have.

          • @alain, where are YOUR stats to suggest…

            1. Residents are not on contract?
            2. Landlords are not tardy?
            3. There are enough books in other languages (and please no more racist undertones)…?
            4. The piece de resistance… to prove your claim that residents are actually happy enough?

            Just saying isn’t good enough!

      • “there are thousands of people with fibre now rolled out to their homes”

        Something else to consider when commercial services begin is how many of those homes use the internet to begin with. There are still some people who dont use the internet.

  2. Renai, hasn’t it been said that takeup so far is more an indicator of the staged connection process, where the first groups are “by invitation”? I understand that the full-scale commercial availability (where NBN services will be fully open for connection to all comers) will not be until October or so.

    Not sure if this is because the full OSS/BSS setup is not active yet, or for some other reasons.

    In any event, it’s a bit unsafe at this stage to use these figures as a reliable indicator of interest.

    • @Gwyntaglaw

      “In any event, it’s a bit unsafe at this stage to use these figures as a reliable indicator of interest.”

      Yeah it’s easy to dismiss the figures when they don’t look good, when they do look good as in when ADSL exchange area are shut down and residences don’t have a choice then everyone can jump on the bandwagon and shout ‘now you can use the figures’.

      Interesting to see the figures if ADSL and HFC was left exactly like it is eh?

      • Alain, you appear to be embarking on a fact-lite expedition here.

        The reason why it is unsafe to draw conclusions about this data is that there isn’t any methodological process at all. It isn’t clear whether there are 41 customers (or whatever the number may be) because (a) only 41 have expressed interest, or (b) there are many more customers who have expressed interest, but the NBN Co systems are not yet ready to switch on this quantity, or (c) customers who have existing contracts with ISPs are not able switch over without breaking those contracts because their ISP does not have a migration policy in place yet.

        Statistics only have meaning within the methodology under which they are collected. If you have further insights to share based on your analysis or fresh information, then I’m only too happy to hear what you have to say.

        • What I like about the data and even the data post October is that it shows the popularity of NBN FTTH when faced with fixed line competition.

          The strident cry of the pro NBN lobby that Australia needs FTTH doesn’t look too healthy when FTTH faces alternative fixed line choices, but then every excuse under the sun will be trotted out, I expect the ‘waa – existing contracts’ excuse has plenty of life in it, for at least the next 2 years (without any supporting statistics of course).

          The NBN uptake will of course only look good when the ADSL and HFC infrastructure is shut down, then the spin machine cry will be ‘See I told you how popular it is’. LOL

  3. Wait until Telstra start moving their customers across, the numbers will probably look pretty good then.

    • Yeah there is nothing like a forced migration to make the NBN numbers look good, given choices most residences are happy with what they have, but the NBN monopoly is not about choices, hence the billions given to Testra and Optus to shut down their networks.

      • If Telstra charge their customers the same that they do now for a phone and/or ADSL on their copper network, I can’t see the problem. Telstra were probably going to have to do something about their aging network anyway….

        • That’s not the point, the NBN viability depends solely on ADSL and HFC being shut down, having to survive solo on it’s ‘technical merits’ is not a risk Conroy is interested in.

          • Legacy systems cost money to maintain. And that’s what the copper and HFC networks are – legacy systems, which do not have a long-term future without major capital investment. And why would you throw good money after bad in this way?

            The progressive shutting down of ADSL over copper and HFC-based internet isn’t a bit of underhand trickery – it is, first and foremost, a business decision for Telstra and Optus. Similarly, it is a business decision for NBN Co to pay to migrate their customer base. In other words, it’s a win-win deal for all the major parties.

            So what can be your objection?

          • “Legacy systems cost money to maintain. And that’s what the copper and HFC networks are – legacy systems”

            HFC is a legacy system really? I noticed you used it in with the term copper rather using the term FTTN, nice word play.

            “which do not have a long-term future without major capital investment. And why would you throw good money after bad in this way?”

            Compared to the billions required by a nationwide FTTH rollout?

            “The progressive shutting down of ADSL over copper and HFC-based internet isn’t a bit of underhand trickery – it is, first and foremost, a business decision for Telstra and Optus.”

            No it is not, they are being paid billions by the NBN owner to do so, without the payment you think they would volunteer? LOL

            ” Similarly, it is a business decision for NBN Co to pay to migrate their customer base. In other words, it’s a win-win deal for all the major parties.”

            Except the sucker taxpayer, who pays to build it, pays to use it and pays Telstra and Optus on top of all that for their customer bases and total infrastructure shut down.

          • You have told us (when it suits) that HFC was/is a complete failure, so…

            Stop having an each way bet, as long as all roads lead to FUD…

            Either HFC is a fallure or not, you cant keep having it both ways…!

          • Sigh. I did not refer to “FTTN” in relation to legacy systems because there is no FTTN network. It could hardly be a legacy system if it does not exist. And yes, HFC is a legacy system, especially when compared to FTTP. Optus and Telstra have made comparatively little use of their HFC networks for internet services, and there is hardly any effort to migrate customers onto them. They have no wish to spend the money required – especially with Optus, which has a dead weight on its hands.

            You missed the point entirely about “throwing good money after bad”. This was in reference to maintaining an existing network without a long-term future. The FTTP rollout is, in stark comparison, a new future-proof network.

            “No it is not, they are being paid billions by the NBN owner to do so, without the payment you think they would volunteer? LOL”

            Do you know what is meant by the term “business decision”? It has nothing to do with being a volunteer. That’s like saying “Without the payment, do you think a shop would volunteer to provide you with goods and services?”

          • “I did not refer to “FTTN” in relation to legacy systems because there is no FTTN network.”

            Yes but you emphasised copper as being a legacy system but as you know copper can be utilised into a fibre system as many Telco’s in the world are doing.

            “And yes, HFC is a legacy system, especially when compared to FTTP.”

            No that’s your definition of a legacy system, just because you define it as such doesn’t make it one.

            “Optus and Telstra have made comparatively little use of their HFC networks for internet services,”

            Well they have, that’s why in certain areas they recently upgraded the HFC to higher speeds.

            ” and there is hardly any effort to migrate customers onto them.”

            Umm what- what does that mean? migrate customers from where?

            ” They have no wish to spend the money required”

            Money required to do what exactly?

            “The FTTP rollout is, in stark comparison, a new future-proof network.”

            Which requires existing infrastructure to be shut down to force residences to use it, what you might call forced future proofing, we know what’s best for you!

            “Do you know what is meant by the term “business decision”?”

            Well Telstra and Optus were quite happy with their infrastructure, it is only been shut down because the Government wants it shut down and is paying them to do so ,so there is no choice.

          • @ alain…

            Once again you are having the old each way bet… to suit the reply needed at the time (as long as all roads lead to NBN negativity)..

            You told us before that HFC was and is a failure. You even said that a HFC cable is hanging across the road from you and is good for one thing only, the pigeons to rest upon… didn’t you, that’s what you said, admit it?

            But here you are now screaming, Telstra and Optus are happy with their (HFC) infrastructure… and claiming it’s wrong to close it…?

            How can anything you say ever be taken seriously when you continue to contradict your self?

      • Forced migration..?

        Gee and here I was thinking Telstra owned the PSTN and agreed to migrate (pednding shareholder approval)…

        Apparently not [sic]…sigh!

  4. What about customers who have existing connections with another ISP? Maybe they can’t/aren’t willing to jump out of those contracts?
    This isn’t something that’s going to go through the roof immediately. I think these numbers are to be expected – enthusiasts getting on board early…

  5. You actually read “The Australian”? I stopped visiting that site a year ago when it became obvious that it had an anti-nbn agenda. Use the google news search “nbn -theaustralian”…

    As for the numbers – like Michael said, worry about it after October 1.

  6. Yes we are talking about a pre-commercial trial network here, but really they are going to need to ramp up the numbers even if only to achieve valid test results. Plenty of difficulties only start to show themselves as the system comes under load. Having less than a thousand users doesn’t even represent real testing IMHO.

    I would have thought there would be more push from rural residents to get themselves into the network. I don’t even hear people clamoring, they are just sitting back with a patient “wait and see” approach. It was the rural towns where we saw all the hand wringing, and heard the moans that the commercial providers just didn’t care about rural Australia. Now they have the chance you would think those guys would be banging on the door every afternoon, demanding to be let in.

    Anyhow, not that I care at this stage. Public opinion doesn’t mean squat to this “democratic” government.

    • The problem is also the NBN launches are bordering on the outright bizarre, the two choirs singing at Armidale and the interactive dance mat at Kiama, what does either of those two applications have to do with the need for FTTH?

      It’s like Labor and the NBN Co need to desperately spin up the look that the NBN FTTH is somehow a unique kind of BB, no good having a launch with locals sitting at computers sending emails, browsing or searching with Google, which is what the majority of users use the internet for.

      I look forward to the Brunswick launch, place your bets on the bizarre ‘let’s make it look innovative’ application that no one will use anyway trotted out to display what will happen when Conroy hits the portable orange button.

  7. Surely even you can understand in similar circumstances, the others would do it too, they are ALL politicians…!

    Sigh…!

  8. What a croc of rubbish!!!

    How many irrigators us a dam before its commissioned and opened up?

    How many people drive on a highway before its opened.

    This article is typical of small minded immediate return thinking endemic to popular discussion.

    If I can get 100Mb down and 40 up for a measly $190 a month then bring it on!!! I just got a fibre quote for 20/10 at $685 a month, after a $15K installation fee.

    We now have reliable figures to say that Australia’s Internet industry is worth $50 B to the National GDP, or roughly the same as exporting Iron Ore. We GIVE the mining industry a lot more cash for nought that the projected investment in a decent broadband network that will support the country for at least 20 years.

    Grow up, learn a bit about national infrastructure and try thinking, you are a fool and will be remembered that way.

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