Slow progress: NBN Co releases Dec 2012 stats


news The National Broadband Network Company overnight released hard statistics showing the progress of the rollout and uptake of its network infrastructure during the three months to the end of 2012, showing that the company is still making only slow progress in its construction effort and uptake of its services.

In a statement released late yesterday, the company said that as at 31 December last year, the company’s fibre network passed a total 72,400 premises, made up of some 46,100 premises in so-called ‘brownfield’ areas (areas where it is replacing existing network infrastructure) and 26,300 premises in ‘greenfield’ areas such as new housing estates where it is the first network infrastructure to be laid down.


The company’s fixed wireless network as at the end of December covered some 17,300 premises, and its satellite network covered some 250,000 premises. NBN Co also released the number of end user customers who had connected to its network. As at the end of December the company had some 10,000 fibre customers, 1,000 fixed wireless customers and some 23,100 satellite customers.

When compared to the figures NBN Co released in October for the three-month period to the end of September, NBN Co’s updated statistics show that the company is still making slow progress on its network rollout, despite the fact that it has stated that it has entered its rapid rollout phase of its network construction.

For example, NBN Co’s statistics show the company only completed its network rollout to an additional 20,386 fibre premises in the three month period to the end of December. It added only an additional 4,042 new customers who are now using its fibre network in the three month period. Most of NBN Co’s overall gains came from its satellite service, which it did not construct itself. For its satellite services NBN Co leases capacity on existing satellites from existing providers.

NBN Co also has a long way to go in terms of its rollout to meet its targets for the end of June this year. The company aims to have its fibre network covering some 341,000 premises by that period, with its satellite and wireless networks covering an additional 320,000 premises in total. The company aims to have some 54,000 active fibre customers at that point, and some 37,700 satellite and wireless customers.

In the company’s statement released yesterday, NBN Co chief executive Mike Quigley said: “The results reflect progress in the early stages of the rollout, and are what we would expect given the time and work necessary to put in place the contracts and agreements needed to get to this point of execution.”

“As can be seen by our targets, this rollout is not a linear progression, but a rapid ramp-up. We are targeting to pass more premises in the final quarter of the financial year than we will have passed in the entire project up to the beginning of that quarter. Additional construction resources will be added over the coming months to help achieve these targets. We will continue to work very closely with our construction partners – Syntheo (WA, NT, SA); Transfield (Vic); Silcar (NSW, QLD, ACT); and Visionstream (Tas) – to deliver the June 2013 targets.”

NBN Co itself prefers to use the metric of ‘construction commenced or completed’ in measuring the progress of its rollout, as the company views this metric as providing a better overall picture of total construction activity across its operations. The company recently announced that it had met its target of having 758,000 premises where construction had commenced or completed by the end of the 2012 calendar year.

To be honest I am somewhat disappointed by these results. NBN Co might be in its rapid ramp-up phase, but the company’s results so far don’t really demonstrate that fact.

Let’s look at the six month period to the end of December 2012, for example; the period where NBN Co has repeatedly been emphasizing that it has a huge amount of construction work going on; the period that it is ramping up its construction efforts. In this period, NBN Co only finished constructing its network to an additional 17,100 brownfields premises. 17,100! That’s almost nothing. Not really even one suburb! That’s only 6,100 more brownfields premises than the company added in the entire year before that!

In the six month period to the end of last year, the company also added only an additional 3,200 brownfields active customers. Again, this was only a little more than it added in the whole year previous to June 2012 – in that year NBN Co added some 2,800 new live brownfields customers.

Things are better in the fixed wireless and satellite areas when it comes to the company’s network construction efforts. The number of premises covered by NBN Co’s satellite network jumped rapidly in the six month period to the end of December 2012 — going up from 165,000 to 250,000. Its wireless network jumped from 9,000 to 17,300 in the same period, and most impressive of all are the numbers of customers taking up the satellite service – jumping from 13,600 to 23,100 in the six month period. Fixed wireless customers are still minimal – NBN Co added only 1,000 customers in the six month period.

However, the fact is that NBN Co hasn’t itself actually deployed any satellite infrastructure yet to meet the demands of remote customers – those customers are gaining access, through NBN Co, to subsidised satellite services through the satellites of other companies. And Ericsson, not NBN Co itself, is building NBN Co’s wireless network. Ericsson has plenty of experience in this field; you may remember that the company build Telstra’s excellent Next G mobile network.

When it comes to the deployment and uptake of its fibre broadband network, NBN Co is still crawling at a snail’s pace. There might be plenty of ongoing construction activity across its network, but on its key measures – premises passed and active services – NBN Co is moving extremely slowly. The “ramp-up” which the company has continually talked about recently is really not yet showing in the company’s hard statistics.

10,400 active users on NBN Co’s fibre network since the company was founded in mid-2009? That’s a very slow deployment by anyone’s measure. It’s been three and a half years since NBN Co was formed, people. The company has about 1,700 staff and construction and equipment contracts coming out the wazoo. But it’s still not delivering on its key aim of building its goddamn nationwide fibre network and attracting customers to that network. It’s starting to look like the Coalition’s criticism of NBN Co has some validity. This is still a very good policy; but it’s being delivered very, very slowly. At this point, I am starting to begin to conclude that NBN Co has wasted much of the past three and a half years and needs a fire lit under its nether regions to get it moving.


  1. I think your incorrect Renai.

    74,600 is a great achievement, and the fact if they keep doing that it will keep on going on those numbers and will actually meet their deadline.

    The so called ‘ramp up’ phase is not actually due till 2015.

    A number of things are also happing during the 2014-2015, you have the POI network, Transit Network being built and in 2015 is the Satellite launch.

    FY2013 286,000 320,000 606,000 55,000 661,000
    FY2014 1,129,000 374,000 1,503,000 178,000 1,681,000
    FY2015 2,499,000 752,000 3,251,000 413,000 3,664,000

    Page 36:

      • “everyone seems to forget the migration deal with Telstra/Optus”

        Which can’t actually kick in until NBN Co actually *deploys* its network … which it is doing at a glacial snail’s pace.

        • “which it is doing at a glacial snail’s pace.”

          its a ten year project, what would have made you happy?

          your opinion is that it is too slow, but why does that matter if the project has its timeline over ten years and theyre in front of that now?

          would you be politicising this by any chance? is the rollout is too slow for takeup to be unequivocal at the next election for you? who cares about politics, the project is set, its doing well against its timeline, budget and forecasts – the only problem we seem to have is a political one.

          that issue is not an nbn issue, nor should they attempt to bust a gut to fix it, that is not their job. if you have a problem with the coalition altering the nbn then point that out or take it up with them – dont bitch and moan about nbnco doing a slow job when its nothing of the sort, if they fail to meet their deadlines, their budget or their forecasts then by all means complain, until then let them get on with the job.

          you could have gone with an optimistic view but instead you went the pessimistic, oh woe is us, nbnco is too slow, it wont have enough momentum to exist after the next election – again thats not an nbnco issue, thats a political one, have a issue with that then deal with the actual problem, the coalition.

        • (which it is doing at a glacial snail’s)

          compared to what ? to my knowledge this is the first full overhaul of
          Australias comms network, there is no comparison.

    • I have to agree. The numbers, while small, are still significant.

      It shows progress in the areas where progress can occur – namely satellite. Premises passed wont be a worthwhile number until July at best, when the premises commenced start to become premises passed, and hence can actually become premises connected.

      The bulk of properties being completed (ie, 784k) are in June and October, meaning they wont be realisable statistics until the end of the year, or this time next year.

      Only then can anybody make a reasonable judgement on whether the rollout is on track or not.

      Right NOW, there are about 350k potential connections, with about 10% of that number connecting. Given that 135k of those become potential connections in this quarter, and the active connections went up by 21k, I’d say the takeup rate is growing.

      Is it slow? Sure. But the growth in figures really starts now.

      • A couple of relevant factors.
        Current passed/active is reflective of the Fans commenced 12 Months ago. Added to this is that the progression of Fans and completed is ENTIRELY DEPENDENT on the pits and ducts, this is Telstra Territory
        There have been over $300Mill of remediation contracts in the last year.
        Possibly an aspect that Renai could look into

        Another is contracts , most specifically bundled contracts, this is a factor for the wireless as in rural as Telstra is the dominant in fact in many areas the only mobile provider. Mobile access and pricing are key factors rurally and most are on bundled plans which include land line and rental to provide “free” or at least cheaper mobile calls and the cheaper mobile data they also need. Telstra at this time does not offer NBN wireless plans untill mid 2013
        So with 4G bundled plans including land line rental there is a strong discouragement to switching to a NBN plan, lets face it Telstra is the major player in broadband at this time and we have lots of lovely new bundled 2 year contracts to access 4G and reduce costs of doing so.

        So oils aint oils Sol.
        A few players in this game each with their own goals and each acting in a manner that would be of best benefit for themselves, the only one that has any intent of what is best for the Nation and all of us going forward is the current government with their NBN being rolled out.

        I do understand Renai’s frustration, after all this is unfortunately political and ideological with strong financial vested interest aspects and we would love great figures, but as we are at the result of what commenced 12 months ago we have what we have

    • @Daniel

      Did you blink at the 10,400 active subscribers figure? – you did not mention it at all.

      • What I liked was the 4000 new services; along side 20,000 completed services.

        Without the shutdown of fibre 20% of people are going out of their way to cancel, or not-renew their contracts and sign up for fibre. the others; will get moved when the wire is turned off. Which is to be expected for a large number of people. (not just those in contract who can’t or wont break it due to financial constraints).

  2. Hi Renai,

    Just a point for clarification on a technicality – in the paragraph under the Key Metrics table, you’ve mentioned:

    “As at the end of December the company had some 10,000 fibre customers, 1,000 fixed wireless customers and some 23,100 satellite customers.”

    As you are aware, due to NBN Co being a wholesale provider, NBN Co’s customers are the Retail Service Providers. As such, the end-user premises aren’t NBN Co’s customers, but rather the RSPs customers.

    So the text should be corrected to read something similar to:

    As at the end of December the company had some 10,000 fibre connections, 1,000 fixed wireless connections and some 23,100 satellite connections.

    Geoff U.

  3. Should we expect high ‘premises passed’ numbers less than 12 months after the ramp up begins?

    • ^ This

      I don’t understand why we are expecting ramped up “passed” statistics when the ramp up phase only began the second half of last year. We know that it takes roughly a year from the beginning of construction until a service is ready for purchase. The end of this financial years results will be much more interesting IMHO

      This is why we have Mike Quigly saying that the number of premises passed in the 1st half of 2013 will eclipse the amount passed through the entire construction period so far right?

      • Septembers will be much more interesting, as the June completions start to flow on to become active connections.

        If the timing is as I expect, its a report that will come out about 2 weeks before the election. Maybe 1 week…

        But yeah, I’m fully agreeing that this report is largely preparation for the mid year jump in passed premises, and what comes after that.

          • Hehe. Yeah, its a conspiracy to hide the poor figures behind a tragic event. Or something like that.

            I dont think Septembers figures will be an election stunt, but I seriously expect it to be called one. The timing is all there – late October election is highly possible (or early Nov), with the September report coming out mid to late October.

            Or a week or two before election day. If it DOES become an election stunt, its only because the election day is delibrately taking advantage of it, not because NBN Co is pushing a Labor agenda.

            And who could blame em? Its not like jobless rates or interest rates havent been released in election periods in the past and taken advantage of in the campaigning.

      • “I don’t understand why we are expecting ramped up “passed” statistics when the ramp up phase only began the second half of last year. We know that it takes roughly a year from the beginning of construction until a service is ready for purchase. ”

        Because Renai loves being intentionally thick when it comes to basic factoid’s he’s well aware of. Inability to distinguish between ‘construction’ and ‘constructed’ is apparently too complicated for him… so naturally he gives the Coalition credence [even though he’s personally demonstrated time and again how unreliable they are].

          • Yes, a rather impolite way to say it, I thought.

            However, the point does stand – construction of any given part of the NBN is expected to take about 12 months from start to live, and it’s much less than 12 months since the rollout started in earnest, so why do you expect to see large numbers of active connections?

            This is why the “premises commenced or completed” number is significant – it’s an indication of the connections that are already “in the pipeline”. “Premises completed” is measure only of what’s come out the end of that pipeline. It’s like doing a flood forecast based on the water flowing past your house, rather than the record levels being recorded 20 km upstream… (something that’s all-too-familiar to some of us Queenslanders at the moment!)

          • “Excuse me?”

            Every once and a while you decide to completely backflip on your general position, misinterpret basic facts and say something to the effect of ‘maybe the coalition have a point’ [even though you’ve demonstrated yourself again and again that the coalition depend upon lies and deception]. I used to think this was for the pretence of ‘fair balance’ but you raised the dictator card and threatened to sin bin me if I used that terminology.

            To examine the incident in question, how can you possible expect us to believe this:

            “Let’s look at the six month period to the end of December 2012, for example; the period where NBN Co has repeatedly been emphasizing that it has a huge amount of construction work going on; the period that it is ramping up its construction efforts. In this period, NBN Co only finished constructing its network to an additional 17,100 brownfields premises. 17,100! That’s almost nothing.”

            Is of your usual standard? I normally expect you to be able to distinguish between ‘constructing’ and ‘constructed’ – but in this example you obviously are confused!

            Unless I’m mistaken… and this *is* your general level of reporting? In which case I’m going to have to junk pretty much everything I’ve ever read from you.

          • In the scheme of the rollout, 17,000 additional constructed is nothing.

            At the peak rollout that NBNco predict, it will be less than 3 days of work. (6k per day * 3 = 18k)

            I do believe it is too early to be holding them to this level though. As has been mentioned, the ramped up roll-out will take up to 12 months to flow fully on to completed construction metric.

            I guess a 10 year roll-out is too slow for some.

  4. Every start up knows that “build and they will come” is BS. They really need to stop the playing politics (high evident from the roll out maps), run a short survey to find out who will commit to it today and then alter the roll out plans so those suburbs with high demand get first priority.

    Continuing to roll out the network based on marginal or Labor seats clearly isn’t working. It may even sway the Liberals opinion when they see high demand for the project in their seats.

    • The only way this could possibly work is if action is taken based on the survey results in preference of highest demand per capita. Anything else (particularly if based only on quantity of respondents) would severely disadvantage rural and regional areas where broandband connectivity has always been vastly substandard to metropolitan areas.

      • How stupid of me… it’s just coincidence that the Liberal seat that I’m in doesn’t appear in the 3 year plan currently available online while the marginal Labor seats surrounding me all list construction commences within one year.

        • Well, yes, it IS coincidence. Its going to happen somewhere, and as soon as it does the doomsayers are out in force claimnig its ‘proof’ that the whole NBN is just for Labor voters. Reality shows its kind of different.

          Its been shown time and again that its an even split. Problem being that people in general look at their own specific circumstances and presume the same situation is mirrored everywhere else when in general it isnt.

        • “How stupid of me… it’s just coincidence that the Liberal seat that I’m in doesn’t appear in the 3 year plan currently available online while the marginal Labor seats surrounding me all list construction commences within one year.”

          100% Correct!

          I mean, I’m in the middle of Coalition territory and do I have the NBN coming? Yes I do! It’s obvious to me that they’re only building for political purposes in marginal seats!

        • “How stupid of me” – sadly, being a partisan makes smart people think silly things.

          You are incorrect. Now, are you going to persist with being incorrect or take on board the facts and adjust your thinking accordingly?

          • For everyone: I’ll accept that politics didn’t come into selecting the areas when you acknowledge the existence of Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. Until then I’ll look at the marginal Labor seats surrounding me with “construction commences with one year” and wonder why my Liberal seat doesn’t even appear on the three year plan.

            Oh yes… there are some Liberal seats that appear on the plan. Those that are electorates marginal enough that Labor could win them and those with high profile candidates that could be embarrassed if their electorate punished them for voting against it (meaning Abbott, Turnbull and Hockey)

          • hey Rich,

            it has been pretty conclusively shown that NBN Co didn’t pick the early stage rollout zones through political favouritism etc. As such, I would be very reluctant to tolerate such discussions on Delimiter in future. We’ve already threshed this one out, mate.


            Editor + Publisher, Delimiter

          • “Oh yes… there are some Liberal seats that appear on the plan. Those that are electorates marginal enough that Labor could win them”

            Check out the electorate of Mitchell in NSW.

            Now check out the elected representative’s political party and the winning margins for the last 40 years.

            The main area within that electorate (Castle Hill) starts construction in September 2013.

            In short, your conspiracy is false.

          • So for you to accept the facts (as clearly demonstrated) we have to believe in Santa :/

            Really? Is one’s partiality that immovable?

            How sad.

          • Quigley:
            “The second issue I would like to address is the story on the front page of the Australian recently. There was a colourful map of inner Brisbane showing where the three-year rollout was scheduled and how it was biased towards ALP seats in that area. The story prompted me for the first time to look at a map of electoral boundaries. There was specific mention of the seats of Lilley, Griffith and Rankin being included in the rollout while neighbouring coalition seats missed out. The article said that this sparked claims that the government is using the NBN rollout to protect these seats. I would like to be very clear with the committee: there has been absolutely no discussion with, or instructions from, the government, either explicitly or implicitly about which areas in inner Brisbane should be included in the first three years. So why did the rollout occur in those three areas? Because the Brisbane suburbs of Aspley, Camp Hill and Slacks Creek are in those three areas and each of them have a point of interconnect. We, quite logically, are building out from points of interconnect around the country. And who chose those three locations in Brisbane as points of interconnect? The ACCC. If the boundary drawn by the Australian had been a little bit to the north, south or west, it would have picked up locations in coalition seats such as Caboolture, the Gold Coast or Toowoomba, but they choose to draw the boundaries where it had the greatest impact.”

        • Which is interesting because I am in a marginal electorate of Hasluck which is always up for grabs and yet there’s no NBN in sight. As far as I can tell it’s the only electorate in the whole of WA which has zero Brownfields in the 3yr schedule. Meanwhile South Perth, which contains one of the safest Liberal seats, is under construction already.

          When there is absolutely no correlation with something you can inevitably cherry pick data to make any argument you want. As it happens the more rational reason for me missing out, and probably you also, is to do with the readiness of PoI and general need. Turns out my PoI didn’t even exist when the 3yr plan was drawn up and South Perth contains two Universities and a lot of businesses.

    • Rich, “build and they will come” is actually a complete furphy.

      It sounds like the NBN Co business plan is built on a miasma of hopefulness and woolly thinking.

      What it is ACTUALLY based on is some pretty hard-headed deals with Telstra and Optus, and incorporating legislation and the ACCC: all of which comes down to the fact that ALL fixed-line customers within the 93% fibre footprint will be migrated over, and the copper network switched off for good.

      That’s not wishful thinking, it’s reality. And the first switch-off is coming very soon.

      Secondly, the line about rollouts being based on marginal seats is more than a furphy, it’s total garbage. Every statement made by everyone with any credibility on the subject confirms that no electorate boundaries were considered in drawing up the rollout schedule, and no political favouritism involved. To paraphrase Mike Quigley’s comment, “the blokes who drew it up didn’t know and didn’t care what electorates were involved”. In the absence of any hard evidence to the contrary (and there isn’t any), I believe him.

      • Gwyntaglaw, I guess you didn’t work out the BS after “build it and they will come” in my comment is short for bull shit. So we can at least agree upon that.

        • Except you obviously missed the part in the corporate plan; gyngataws comment, and .. err reality… where we all said it ISN’T “build it and they will come” but Build it and turn off their alternative and they will have no choice but to come or use mobile internet.


          Please don’t change your argument to: “they WILL use mobile internet!” because the average user of the internet today. in Australia uses 10 gigabytes per month. Go find out how much that costs on mobile data before you roll out that argument.

  5. I love the concept, we desperately need it, but the fact that the cities are mostly being ignored and not even on the radar yet is really disappointing.

    Surry Hills – the creative and digital hub of Sydney, not even looked at yet.

    Sydney CBD? Nothing.

    I know the remote rollouts were always due first but at this pace? Wow. Right now the rollout plan and strategy looks pretty uninspiring and flawed. As the figures indicate, there’s near-zero momentum.

    Meanwhile – our office connection is 2Mb up/down, my home ADSL2+ connection is 9Mbd/0.8Mbu and a friend’s Telstra 4G Samsung phone? 51Mb down / 19Mb up. Unfortunately, data costs are about $15/GB on Telstra 4G.

    • Again just because a suburb has something doesn’t mean it should get NBN.

      Why should Sydney get NBN and Perth doesn’t?

      It’s pathetic political bickering.

      Leave NBN alone as it it is, and it will be rolled out 100%

      And then everyone gets NBN.

      • I’m not saying Sydney should get it and Perth shouldn’t etc. Of course if you live in one or other place then that’s going to be your priority isn’t it?

        I’m saying that rolling out purely to greenfields, brownfields, regions and remote areas first was a disappointing strategy that is only getting more and more frustrating with the snail’s pace of deployment and subsequent take-up. Surry Hills hasn’t even got a ‘commencing in 3 years’ badge on it yet, let alone actual connectivity on the horizon. What are we to think – maybe we’ll see something by 2016, maybe not? That’s a long way from what was promised. Most of Sydney is like this. Melbourne is better, Brisbane is pretty poor too however. As a taxpayer, as a resident of an area that’s not being looked at for some time, and in light of these stats, it all looks pretty underwhelming.

        • Hmmm, that changed all of a sudden… A week ago it was to be commenced in June or July (I forget which). That’s disappointing.

          • “Hmmm, that changed all of a sudden… A week ago it was to be commenced in June or July (I forget which). That’s disappointing.”

            Surry Hills?

            I just checked back through 6 months of rollout update spreadsheets and Surry Hills has never been mentioned…

          • Maybe it was a bug… The address I put in a few weeks back said 1 year roll out, and it was in Surry Hills. On this page “” it has:

            Surry Hills 2010 Work to commence within one year Fibre

            Here’s a screen shot of the page “”.

            So mixed messages…

        • “Surry Hills hasn’t even got a ‘commencing in 3 years’ badge on it yet, let alone actual connectivity on the horizon. What are we to think – maybe we’ll see something by 2016, maybe not?”

          It’s actually pretty plainly clear why Surry Hills and many parts of Sydney (and other areas) are in this position:

          City South

          The above areas all surround Surry Hills and are all set to start construction in the next 12 months, if not, three years.

          If people aren’t already aware by the suburb names, these areas are 5 of the 121 POIs around the country that have to be built before any premises can meaningfully connect to the NBN.

          With the exception of the early release test sites announced a couple of years ago, the NBN is built from the POIs and expands outward over the next 9 years, covering the areas currently served by Telstra exchanges until all ESAs in the fibre footprint are complete.

          For example, see Castle Hill (located in Sydney’s North-West). It is a POI and the exact area currently served by the Castle Hill exchange (CAST) is due to start construction from September 2013.
          Yet, none of the areas covered by exchanges that immediately surround CAST are on the 3-year plan yet…

          Suddenly the whole rollout method should all be making sense now…

          • It makes sense yes from a ‘we need to build things first’ perspective, but does ‘leave the most populous areas of Australia till near last’ make sense? No.

          • “but does ‘leave the most populous areas of Australia till near last’ make sense? No.”

            When NBN Co has been instructed by its shareholders as to the following:

            “we have been tasked with prioritising the delivery of the National Broadband Network to regional areas so that those people who have had limited or no access to broadband can be among the first of those who get access to the NBN.”

            … it makes sense.

          • Not being on the list today doesnt mean Surry Hills wont be on the list tomorrow. They build a base, and once thats done extend out from it. In Surry Hills case, its going to get caught up in that secondary expansion from one of those exchanges as they fill in the gaps the initial wave creates.

            Build the initial Sydney South and Glebe constructions, Surry Hills is going to stand out, just like Redfern, Ultimo, Erskinville, etc etc. Places to expand into.

            Want a different example, look at Wollongong. Every part of Wollongong is on the 3 year rollout map except one – south western corner of Albion Park, and neighbouring suburbs. Do you REALLY think that one area is going to be ignored? Only reason its not on the list is that it doesnt have an exchange smack bang in the middle of it like every other area does.

            Thats how this rollout is designed. Initial points, then spreading out from there. Surry Hills isnt any different, it just needs the initial phase done before they give a date.

        • err you appear to be very confused.

          “I’m saying that rolling out purely to greenfields, brownfields, regions and remote areas first was a disappointing strategy”

          What you just said was: “Rolling out purely to everywhere at once” was a disappointing strategy.

          (Greenfields = new housing estates, Brownfields = places where there are houses now – ie everyone else).

          PS. They aren’t prioritising anyone in particular. Greenfields are easy (it is why they are called greenfields, ie they build the estate and the fibre at the same time, instead of laying copper first – so you can NEVER complain about them IMO).

          Otherwise; you have the “I wish they were building at my house today”-itis. Everyone has it that wants the NBN, but fact is 10 year projects will take some people 10 years to get there. It sucks; but unless you want to spend more to speed up the rollout (if it were even possible) we are stuck with it.

          • Not to detract from the useful info and insight given above (excellent, thanks to all) but, “Greenfields = new housing estates, Brownfields = places where there are houses now – ie everyone else” – that’s not what ‘Brownfields’ means at all.

            Brownfields means places like Waterloo or Alexandria (immediately next to Surry Hills) that are old industrial areas being rezoned and having apartments stacked sky high on them – it specifically doens’t mean current housing/buildings in use. Several apartment blocks in those areas are now – or are due to be soon – NBN connected. I appreciate there’s a lot of obvious reasons why they’re being connected quickly (new build properties for one), but if it’s 2016 or later when this all gets switched on that’s disappointing.

            I do appreciate the stakeholder instructions (GeoffU), but I do also think that prioritisation of remote areas and connection of populous areas should not be mutually exclusive (and that is not what prioritisation means, either).

            As it is, poor take-up stats are going to be the story of the NBB *until* some major areas are connected. So all of you armed with your stats and well-reasoned arguments for this rollout strategy (;) – I hope you’re not going to get bored of repeating it a lot.

          • Hi Alex,

            You may well be correct about the meaning of Brownfield sites, but in the context of the NBN, I always took it to mean sites which have copper already installed and are being upgraded to fibre.

            Can anyone clarify which case this is? IMO it would seem odd to use Alex’s interpretation in context of the rollout.

          • Brownfields refers to all areas that have existing fixed-line telecommunications infrastructure.

            Greenfields refers to all areas that do not have existing fixed-line telecommunications infrastructure.

            These are standard industry terms.

            In the case of the NBN, the determinant for whether an area or premises is classed as brownfields or greenfields is whether or not it has a connection to copper phone lines.

  6. I’m going to make a general grumble about the way this has been reported, and it’s not directed at Delimiter – more to the overall reporting I’ve seen.

    It’s about the maths.

    There is a bit of default thinking that’s going around that comes down to this: the last month or quarter’s stats give a guide to how big the next month or quarter’s stats are going to be. That’s a rather simple extrapolation from a linear model, an arithmetic progression.

    Except that has nothing to do with what is going to happen next.

    I don’t have a working model that tells me whether the increase is more geometric or exponential. I don’t have a fit-to-the-curve equation. But I do know that linear progression is not only wrong, it’s also profoundly misleading. And journos everywhere fall into the trap. The mainstream publications have been particularly unhelpful in this regard.

    And in this regard, no one has said, in any reporting I’ve seen, “if NBN Co is going to meet its target, then the expected figure for the fibre rollout at end of December 2012 should have been x”. Because in all the shock and breathless dismay, there is no context for the figure of 72,400 – what was expected? What was promised? How do we actually analyse this figure, without a benchmark?

    So what do I suggest? Here’s a few thoughts:

    1. As I said, there is no comparison. People can do their own calculations, mock up their own models – whatever it takes to say “here is the actual figure – here is the target they SHOULD have reached”. Even an estimate based on limited data is better than nothing.
    2. Rather than use the metric of x vs y (ie 72,400 achieved vs 140,000 [say] expected), use a metric of HOW MANY MONTHS behind. Otherwise, the conclusion, from linear thinking, is to say “only half the target achieved? This is going to take 20 years, not 10!” In reality, the distance may be only 2-3 months behind target, given the acceleration and ramp-up in rollout speed.
    3. Some further analysis – since the average time from commencement to completion is 12 months, what can we tell from extrapolating figures already known? So, taking the number of premises completed or commenced (Malcolm Turnbull’s bete noir) from June 2012, what if we assume that (on average) they will be finished around June 2013? Some will be late, and a few have been early so far – but if the average of 12 months is valid, then what does that tell us? I haven’t crunched the numbers, but can someone do it?

    • I’ve just checked the NBN Co website (something I should have done earlier), and I noticed that there is something pretty big that noone is talking about.

      At the bottom of the media release, there is a bar graph that says what I’ve been trying to get across, but in much more vivid terms.

      Go and look at it. It’s the one titled “Brownfield Premises Passed, June 2012 to June 2013”. It tells a pretty dramatic story, showing how the ramp-up gets underway in February 2013, and then by each passing month the number of brownfield premises begins to rocket up.

      I suppose one could conclude one of two things:

      1) It’s all a work of fiction, fanciful and unachievable projections designed to placate the gullible; or

      2) Very exciting times are coming in NBN-land.

      I hardly need to point out that your political beliefs may play a large part in deciding which of those two conclusions you choose to accept.

      I happen to believe that exciting times are indeed coming. Either way, it is an exceptionally vivid and bold projection, one which goes a long way towards assuaging concerns that may be expressed about whether the June 2013 targets are realistic.

      • So from March onwards we’re going to be seeing roughly 50k a month fall into the passed category, quickly jumping to nearer 100k…

        That makes sense, as it should eventually be closer to 200k a month once the full construction rollout hits 6k a day.

        This years election is coming at a most inconvenient time. 6 months later it would be abundantly clear whether the NBN progress is satisfactory or not. Instead, we’re going to be in a position where you cant really be certain one way or the other – the numbers can be used both ways.

        1,220,000 commented, only 91,700 avtive. Not a big takeup rate. And yes, I know that’s not the real ratio, but its going to be how its presented. Alternatively, June 2012 to June 2013 will show a 674% growth in connections – the other side of the debate.

      • The 39,000 is for FTTP (brownfields + greenfields) passed or covered at June 2012.

        I haven’t been able to find a projection for December 2012.

    • Thanks for your comments Gwyntaglaw.

      It’s a part of being human I guess that we find comfort in averages and attach meaning to them. In many cases (steady state conditions) it is a valid assumption but it doesn’t apply in periods of significant change. That is where a fundamental understanding of what is involved is required.

      The NBN position has been clear and consistent. There is a typical 12 month pipeline and you have to look at what went in 12 months ago to see why we have what we have today.

      I’m friends with one of the project engineers down here in Tasmania and the anecdotal feedback I get fits in quite well with the general company outline. I think it’s incredible given what they find in regards to the state of duct access (even though much of the network is on poles it still has a sizeable amount underground in old Telstra ducts and pits) that they do achieve what they do. I don’t get any indication from my friend that the 12 month pipeline is going to turn into a 18 month or 24 month pipeline.

  7. “@sortius: #NBN progress stats released: one final negative onslaught via @ABCtech”

    “@sortius: @smh/@theage have shown they are in “Abbott for PM” camp, distorting #NBN figures & repeating Turnbull platitudes. ZDNet refuting this”

  8. A little disappointing. Greenfields looks good on all targets. Brownfields however… well I can see why they are offering incentives, uptake could have been better. Brownfields rollout speeds are a little worrying. I hope they make their target for June but it looks scarey. I do think they will eventually get up to speed, it’s just a shame their is so much political capital riding on it. Being in a management position must suck, I am not surprised with the turnover their.
    That said, it still has to be done at some point and I still think FTTN is a wasteful short term interum solution.

    • @NBNAccuracy

      ‘That said, it still has to be done at some point and I still think FTTN is a wasteful short term interum solution.’

      Except if it had been rolled out post the 2007 election when it was Labor Broadband policy the majority of Australian residences would be using it by now.

      • Sorry? The coverage offered by Telstra was documented to be the same as the NBN?

        Can you advise where that’s stated.

        Also, can you point me to where Telstra had also stated they had a 5 year deployment cycle. That’d be rad.

        Note: assumptive reasoning, isn’t factual data.

        • Labor policy before the 2007 election was for FTTN for 90% of the population, they won that election based on that policy with a 83 seat majority, post election there was delay as they had a change of mind and decided to go for a RFP fibre solution not necessarily FTTN or FTTP, further delay as the RFP was evaluated and eventually cancelled , further delay as an alternative policy to the RFP was decided on, in 2009 the decision for a 100% Government owned NBN Co based FTTH was finalised.

          So in reality the Labor FTTH solution was their 2010 election platform with the NBN implementation study finished May that year, three months out from the 2010 election.

          Do I still think that if Labor had started a FTTN rollout soon after they gained power in 2007 the majority of Australian residences in 2013 and by that I mean the high density population suburbs which already have copper to the residences with a lot of RIM’s/Pillars already having fibre runs back to the exchange already in place would have FTTN? – yeah I do.

          • Seriously, you refer to the RFP process as “delays” :/

            There was no change of mind or delays… this is known as protocol.

            You don’t get into government and go, hey you, your building our network, go. Although seeing your comments for many moons now, I’m guessing you would have loved them to do so, by using Telstra. But that’s just my perception.

            So if elected, will you also refer to MT’s CBA as a delay or part of their protocol…?

            I should have known informative alain wouldn’t last long and pedantic/argumentative alain would soon resurface… what a shame.

          • A delay is a delay, the fact that Labor changed their mind TWICE after telling voters what they were going to do before the 2007 election obviously delayed the rollout of the eventual Government owned FTTH decision.

            You can spin all you like that the eventual decision was the correct one but the fact remains a FTTN rollout in 2013 started in 2007-2008 would be well advanced to completion.

          • Yes I’ll keep spinning the facts and you’ll keep running, while spinning FUD, obviously ;)

            If you can’t even accept there needed to be protocol followed and that takes time and we don’t have FttN because of expert advice suggesting there wasn’t a viable business case, well I’m afraid my trying to correspond with you in a cordial, non-confrontationalist manner over the last few days was a lost cause.

            You know, I bet my balls, if the Coalition are elected, everything you whinge about in relation to the current NBN will be totally acceptable to you, in relation to their plan. But do you know what? I guarantee you I will not expect any more of them than I do of the current network, because I am here for improvement not politics.

            The Coalitions plans. projections etc, will be innocent in my mind, until proven guilty… unlike the current NBN dooms-dayers who believe the NBN guilty, even with overwhelming evidence suggesting it’s certainly not :(

          • “Labor policy before the 2007 election was for FTTN for 90% of the population”
            That might have been their policy, but that doesn’t mean anybody was willing to actually build it at any sort of reasonable price.

          • Actually I think there would have been major concerns raised, the ACCC would have been involved had the government skipped the same RFP and tender process that was utilised for the NBN.

            Telstra simply assumed there would be large handouts, as per typical Coalition/ Liberal behaviour. Despite the abortive OPEL deal. There was nothing, absolutely nothing in concrete for FTTN deployment.

            It was a non-starter. Telstra wasn’t even interested unless large concessions and regulatory changes were made.

            You are drawing an assumptive bow with arrows that have never existed. Pretty clever, really.

            Regardless of the past, the options on the table, today, are Turnbull’s lack of policy, or the NBN. Pretty sure the latter has a far higher success probability at this point.

      • “Except if it had been rolled out post the 2007 election when it was Labor Broadband policy the majority of Australian residences would be using it by now.”

        But it wasn’t; so what we could have had is but a pipe dream with absolutely no relevance to the current situation.

        Now unless someone is able to come up with substantial hard figures that show that the NBN is behind the schedule they set for themselves I am going to continue to believe as Nick Ross ( ) indicates in his article.that they are running on time.

        • They are running on time. I was hoping they’d have got a larger chunk done by now just for political reasons. They seemed to be really trying to do so.
          MT continues to FUD by using 2010 plan figures and showing progress based on number done now compared to June targets, ignoring 12 month work cycles and ramp up times.
          I am disappointed but only because I was hoping for a figure that would make some STFU.

          • Ahhhh but it will be much more fun when the June figures come in if they are running ahead of target. The FUDsters are going to be running for cover particularly with an election just around the corner.

          • They’ll find something else to use as their smoking gun. Low fixed wireless or satellite uptake, or something like that.

            I can almost see it now “These rural areas are who the NBN is supposed to benefit the most yet they arent connecting! It proves the NBN is a white elephant!”

            They will find something, dont worry about that. Its in their nature, they cant help it.

            As a side story, had a wonderful debate with someone on Sunday. Known fruitcake, he was getting echoing on his phone line, and amazingly it was VOIP’s fault. Technology doomed his home phone to be broken.

            Didnt matter what was put to him, digital phones were the devil, and the NBN was only going to make it worse! For some, they just cant help themselves. All the evidence in the world wont change their mind, and if their story falls apart, other non-related “facts” become part of their belief system.

          • They will just do what they always do when numbers are better than expected. Drop back to the 2010 plan before the Telstra delay. If that doesn’t sound bad drop back to the initial FTTN proposal and use it as a start date to show slow progress. You can’t stop the FUDing, nobody can stop the FUDing…

      • Yep, but it wasn’t. I am glad you see that it needed to be rolled out back then to be useful. It’s a shame Telstra had such an attack of greed that at that time FTTH was only slightly more expensive. We would have had FTTN and could start upgrading that to FTTH in the next few years. A lost opportunately that means FTTN now would be a waste of money.

      • Sadly we are again seeing pedantic alain…

        Because we have been here a dozen times (asking over and over doesn’t change the actuals they are still the same) as to the “facts” just why we do not have FttN now…so let’s make it a Baker’s dozen.

        Following the 2007 election the Government were ready to deploy FttN (or FttP) via RFP’s. So because they recognised that didn’t have the hands-on technical knowledge to determine the best proposal, they rightfully employed a panel of Comms/Business experts to adjudicate on their behalf.

        This is what the PoE did and they found that due to the Telstra factor and the inevitable need for FttP, that FttN did not have a viable business case. So it was scrapped.

        Why would that magically change in 2013? If anything it’s even less viable again :/

    • How many people is that Gary, and I assume you work for Bigpond to have this confidential information?

      • You are right alain, the number must therefore be zero.

        They are all sitting on their cable and their ADSL; looking at the NBN fibre box installed on the side of their house and sneering at the waste of money they refuse to use.

        • I thought for moment you had a actual figure that showed it was statistically significant, never mind a smokescreen of sarcasm is the best answer so far.

          • Well, I’ll tell you right now that I’m on a 2-year Bigpond contract (don’t hate me, cable is my only high-speed option! ;-), so there’s a data point for you.

            Of course, by the time the NBN rolls out in my area (assuming the Noalition don’t cancel it out of spite), that contract will be well and truly up, so there should be no impediment to me switching (apart from the aforementioned political spite factor).

          • Well even if the NBN fibre WAS active in your area you could transfer from BigPond cable to BigPond NBN with no penalties, but as the NBN is yet to come to your area we cannot count you anyway.

            Perhaps if you hang out long enough more incentives will come your way, those areas activated near to the election date will benefit the most, they might get the Bounty and a Bounty Bar. :)

          • Seriously…?

            alain claim 1. Because of Naked DSL, ISP’s make more margin by keeping people on current ADSL contracts than they would migrating them to an NBN plan.

            alain claim 2. Theres no proof people are still on current contracts, rather than just avoiding the NBN.

            Thank you for today’s typical and inevitable anti-NBN contradiction…

            Whilst I enjoyed rational alain over the last few days, typical/irrational/contradictory alain is even more enjoyable!


          • I can’t see many people avoiding the NBN, unless they think it costs 3 times as much or that they need to rewire their house or one of the many other bits of garbage written by the Coalition and paroted by the likes of alain. I know a few who thought it cost a lot. I pointed them at the plans and they couldn’t apply quick enough. I guess those not taking it up just don’t know it’s better and cheaper or just don’t care at the moment. If they are moved to it when copper shut down they’d only move once they started wanting things like 4K TV or video phones or whatever.

  9. It would be interesting to see the response from people who are in areas effected by the storm in Qld & Nsw and were without internet, mobilr phome or 000 services due to Telstras Fibre Optic cable being damaged by water, if they want the NBN or money spent on Flood Mitigation systems, instead of Conroy’s dream.
    In the years to come they will still be dealing with disasters while Conroy & Co are enjoying multi thousand dollar pensions and surfing the internet.

    • How does water damage a fibre optic cable? I can see how it could (and does) damage copper lines, but fibre optic cables are water proof.

      Any damage that would kill the line would destroy any fixed line, whatever it was made of.

      • Water can damage fibre optic cables by literally washing them away… which is what happened to that Telstra cable, I believe – washed away at a creek crossing. It might have been exposed by water scouring away the covering dirt, then a tree trunk or some other debris caught it.

        When you consider how many creeks & rivers these cables cross, it’s amazing they’re not washed away more often.

        • They tend to be run in big fat steel pipes under bridges, have seen some concrete and alternative material used which could be more subject to physical damage in flooding , depends on structural strength and anchoring

        • Fair enough Bern. But thats something that would happen to ANY fixed line, and not exclusive to fibre optic lines. J Walker’s post was just as incorrect, even allowing for such events.

          J Walker’s post was highly suggestive that fibre lines were trouble waiting to happen, and that the current lines werent. Re-read his post and tell me it wasnt a shot at fibre lines.

          Was nice for it to get shot down so fast though.

  10. “building its goddamn nationwide fibre network”?

    For someone who runs an evidence based website, this quote shows an alarming amount of emotion and frustration. While both can be understandable, neither are conducive to clear thinking.

    These numbers (which you have been a little obsessed with) don’t really show much of anything. The next two quarters will be more meaningful.

    I would also draw attention to this quote: “We are targeting to pass more premises in the final quarter of the financial year than we will have passed in the entire project up to the beginning of that quarter” – are they just referring to brownfield fiber?
    This quote seems to be saying that they will more than double their premises passed within the April – June quarter. However, their targets for everything except brownfields fiber seem to contradict this.

    If they are just referring to brownfields fiber, then they are saying that they will up to 143,000 passed by the end of March, and will then double this to 286,000 by the end of June. That is only about 1500 – 1600 premises passed per day, a quarter of where they will want to be in 2 years time.

    Still, if they can meet this target then I think it will be a significant level of proof of their ability to ramp up.

    • @Paul Thompson

      ‘These numbers (which you have been a little obsessed with) don’t really show much of anything. The next two quarters will be more meaningful. ‘

      Yes that’s the line we have been getting for a while now, ignore the current figures the future figures will be more meaningful, I guess if necessary you can keep that line going until 2021, perhaps they will still be ‘ramping up’ then also.

      Once again another NBN supporter who blinks at the active connections figure as if it does not exist.

      • I’m a project manager. It is my job to know which figures matter, when deliverables are not meeting targets, what tolerances need to be for variance etc. There is nothing in these figures that are cause for concern.

        If you want to believe that I must be naive or blind simply because I don’t agree with you, then that says more about you than it does about me.

        • Yes I got all of that ,and thank you for your resume, you see I take the opposite view, premises passed whether behind target or ahead of target is of secondary importance to active connections because the latter is a litmus test of community acceptance of FTTH in the face of alternative fixed line choice.

          I bet the NBN Co and Conroy cannot wait for the region shutdowns by Telstra so the forced migrations can take place, then all this active connections problem can be swept under the carpet.

          Unfortunately for Labor the vast bulk of this will not happen until after this years election, hence the need to accelerate the active connections figure by offering a bounty, the first of many incentives we will see in the frenzy to get this figure higher before election day.

      • Active connections doesn’t account for active work.

        It’s like reviewing a car, but intentionally removing a bunch of features first, so you can have it fit your predefined notion that it sucks.

        Metrics and Statistics are only useful in context, and often only when a pattern has been established; otherwise you have a single set of “to be” and “are” numbers, in isolation, which means almost squat.

        Is it as fast as people want? Nope. Is it doomed to failure as a consequence? I don’t think so, Jim.

        Since when do we assume a single set of metrics for something (with the context stripped) as conclusive?

        • “Since when do we assume a single set of metrics for something (with the context stripped) as conclusive?”

          Since the moment that people first started to decide things were true before knowing the facts – then spent the rest of their time dismissing facts which contradict their first decision.

          • So the active connections figure as stated by the NBN Co in the report quoted by Renai is incorrect because….?

          • What does that have to do with the question “Since when do we assume a single set of metrics for something (with the context stripped) as conclusive?”

          • The context that says there’s three quarters of a million connections under construction that haven’t been finished yet?

            That changes the picture a little, from “ZOMG! There are only 30,000 NBN connections finished!”

          • In build.

            The bit you keep saying is irrelevant; despite the in-build metrics becoming passed metrics, over time. One leads to the other. One provides context to the other.

            Where did I say “wrong” – did you assume again? I think so.

          • Empirical truth is consistent. Which might be why you have multiple people explaining the same sounding thing to you.

            Of course, it could all just be a conspiracy. Yeah, probably a conspiracy.

          • Also Paul…

            Making such evasive allegations in relation to two posters certainly beats rationally discussing the issues or (gasp) admitting one was wrong :/

          • They haven’t explained anything to me, Bern went off on a tangent about 30,000 connections finished and Brendan started waffling on about in-build metrics becoming passed metrics, err yeah ok they do and?

            I am referring to the 10,400 active users figure as you well know, which apparently is ‘out of context’ what context that is has still not been explained other than a ‘Empirical truth is consistent.’ – is that something off one of those desk calendars quotes of the day?

          • Explaining is one thing.

            Understanding the explanation is another… which goes hand in hand, with the first.

            However, what I believe you practice is the art of not wanting to understand and further cloud the explanation with pedantic, argumentative bullshit.

            It’s quite sad actually to see the lengths people will go to when on an agenda :(

  11. Premises passed means nothing. Unless the premises are actually connected to the fibre street optic cable hub what good is an attempt to justify progress if no one can actually access it. Whether or not the householder opts at this moment in time to pay for a connected service is another matter beyond NBN’s control. There are NO unit blocks connected nor even witness to actual cable laying work as yet, most high disposable income young technical aware people live in units either as renters or owners. 80% of connections will come from this demographic group. Watson 2604 in North Canberra is the first large scale unit area to be laid with NBN optic fibre, some 1000 plus units disregarded as fibre is laid on the opposite street fronts to 200 private homes, all recently built and valued over $750,000. Older owner residents with few serious needs or interests in high speed broadband. This area in Watson CR9-05 already has optic fibre to the RIM with download speeds @ 23mbps at the modem and 0.85mbps upload. I actually register 19mbps via wifi at the computer. Who cares about the non existent NBN falsehoods. I currently have exactly what Malcolm Turnbull advocates, fibre to the RIM, copper twisted pair to the unit via internal building wiring. The cost to body corporate of re wiring the buildings is prohibitive. NBN do not pay not provide internal building optic wiring, it seems they have changed the game plan along with shifting the goal posts, more like removing them. Wake up suckers! what you are led to believe is not what is or will happen.

    • Sorry Rob, but why should the Tax Payer help offset the cost of Body Corporates paying for service changes to infrastructure they own?

      MDUs have always been a problem; because the “last mile” is really inside the complex, an area Telstra or any other provider, for that matter, can’t go near. That includes NBNco.

      If you have an issue with that, perhaps pointing questions to body corporates and property owners as to the choices they’ve made might be more constructive. You would think a fast internet connection to the NBN would be a selling point?

    • The statement “80% of connections will come from this demographic group” is factually incorrect.

      Everyone is being migrated. It doesn’t matter if they are young or old. So you are wrong.

      The only groups who may be able to avoid the NBN are those who will rely on mobile tech instead. Which, amazingly, might be those same young techies that you talk about.

      I think you raise a valid point about MDUs and how they are being handled. But you undermine your valid point by surrounding it in nonsense.

  12. Construction supposedly started in my area months ago.

    There are no NBN construction crews here. Nothing at all. It is obvious that the NBN Co. has lied about starting construction in my area because they have not been meeting their own deadlines.

    At this rate we will be down 40 billion dollars, and still have no National Broadband Network.

    • Do you ever receive mail? Are you always home when the mailman delivers your mail?

      My wife and I work and very rarely see our postman, but we do regularly receive mail. By your logic (not seeing the NBN workmen) we should never get mail, yet we do.

      I can only conclude that it is possible for our postman and by extension NBN techs, to do their job even if I don’t see them doing it.

      Oh, and how do you think the rest of the people in your neighbourhood recevie their mail if you don’t see the postman delivering it.

      And in this little story you could consider the bulk tranfer of mail to your local postoffice and sorting to be equivalent to NBNco doing the design work etc before putting boots on the ground in your neighbourhood.

  13. Cameron, you know the mailman exists because you receive the mail. Construction in my area is supposed to be completed within one year, and months have gone by already. No one has seen any NBN crews. Unless the NBN is employing an army of invisible men, there is no construction going on in my area, and they will fail to meet this target the same way as they failed to meet all the others.

    • Which suburb do you live in?

      As I said, can take upto 12 months to see anyone. coming to your street in your suburb.

      Need to becareful with your words, because there might be checking pits, or installing other parts of the network before getting into your street.

      • Or even just collating the necessary data (property addresses, existing duct/pit locations, etc) and doing the network design for the area. This could easily take months, before you even see people going out to check the ducts & pits.

        Actually running the fibre is only one part of the process.

        • Also Matthew has stated “No one has seen any NBN crews.”.

          I am amazed that Matthew has been able to interview every single person in his area, and verify that there is not one single person who has seen any NBN people. That seems like an awful lot of effort.

          Also, that he was able to verify that every single person in his area can tell what an NBN worker even looks like. I don’t know how he tested each single person for this ability. Flipcards maybe?

          Of course, another possibility is that Matthew is being dishonest again, in yet another anti-NBN rant. But I am sure he wouldn’t do that!

  14. In a couple of months we’ll be four years on from the NBN policy announcement, which indicated an eight year rollout.

    Frustration is to be expected. The project is looking into the abyss of cancellation.

    Clear thinking is required for this important project to be rescued. Obstacles to rollout need to be overcome. If it is lack of planners, we need to hire more. If it is slow planning approval, we need to legislate to bypass this. If it is difficulties placing the fibre underground, we need to reconsider above-ground options.

    We need to get past the labor/liberal politicing. We need to focus on what it takes to succeed.

    • ‘We need to get past the labor/liberal politicing. We need to focus on what it takes to succeed.’

      The electorate may decide that what it takes is to boot Labor out at the next election, it depends what you as a voter perceive a successful conclusion as being.

      • It sounds like your idea of a successful conclusion is something like: “Cancel this nationwide infrastructure rollout so we can go back to the corporate run mishmash of half-baked infrastructure we had, where good honest hardworking corporations were able to reap obscene profits from 50+ year old equipment the taxpayers paid for.”

  15. There’s one thing I find a little unfair Renai, you’re comparing a 12 month period to a 6 month period.

    You’re complaining that the NBN has basically improved it’s performance so that it can do the same performance as 12 months in 6 months? I think it shows they are ramping up, no doubt slower than anyone wants. The question you didn’t ask, did they meet their targets and do you feel they can meet their targets in June 2013?

    The statistics that will be the more interesting is the ones released in March/April.

    • Every report for the next 12 months (at least) is going to be interesting and important. I expect this discussion will simply repeat as each one comes out.

      April – test to see if the growth from initial rollout to full scale continues.

      July – passed figure will start to really increase as the first wave from mid 2012 starts to get finished.

      October – Those June completions becoming active, plus September completions starting to roll in. Plus likely to come out right before election.

      January 2014 – those 784k should (for the most part) be complete, so should be passed, and ready for connection. Possible change of Govt should show those, plus any others under construction as the practical result of Labor’s FttP if the Liberals halt the rollout. Guesstimate of ~2 million housholds, or ~10% of the population,

      They get more important right up to, and past the election. After that, presuming a change of Government, the impacts could (and should) become less and less as the impacts of the commited contracts slowly winds down over the next 4 years.

      I’m wondering what number makes it become simpler (and cheaper) for the Liberals to simply keep FttP going. In 3 or 4 years, with whatever FttP builds happen, it could easily see 60% of the country being FttP. So at some point they have to ask why they would pause that and start again for the remaining 40%?

      I’m betting that point will be very close come election time.

  16. All the people in Liberal electorates that are complain they aren’t getting NBN quick enough, should direct their complaints to their local member who can tell Tony to speed up the delivery of the NBN.

    Is this site funded by NEWS?

    The NBN project has only been running for around a year anybody that expects 10% of the project to be completed because 10% of the construction period has elapsed is a fool, it’s construction project and the early stages of all construction projects are slow, also the key infrastructure like control rooms, routers and servers and backbone cable have to be deployed before services can be connected in the streets. I would need around 3 full years of street deployment to come to any conclusions regarding eventual cost or rollout time. See me in Jan 2016 for an assessment!

    The cost of the NBN is vey small when say road construction is taken as an example, the new West Connex 10-15 Billion dollars the 3 lane section between Homebush and the city is around 7 billion dollars, the 3 traffic lanes to the city can carry a maximum of 3600 cars per hour if the peak hour is around 3 hours about 12,000 people per peak hour will travel down this road (annual operating cost will be around $500 million dollars including interest) this works out to annual cost of $41,000 per peak hour person. NOW THAT”S A SUBSIDY FOR THE ELITE CART OWNERS. Tolls only cover around 10-15% of the cost.The road would never be built if the divers had to pay the full cost in tolls at $15 per trip. And Gee the progress has been very slow it’s been going nearly 12 months and a single sod hasn’t been turned.

    WHAT’S THE DEFINITION OF INSANITY “DOING THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER AGAIN AND EXPECTING DIFFERENT RESULTS” So why are the INSANE continually telling us we need more roads to solve traffic jams.

    Nothing has been stated as coalition policy only Tony Abbotts word that the NBN is ended the day he is elected and nuanced mumblings of Turnbull about Fibre to the Node with no mention on how it will be achieved, it’s pretty clear Tony is running the shop and Turnbull’s inputs mean nothing.

  17. What was the commenced or completed figure 12 months ago? That should be the passed figure now. That is, by the way, the most important role of the passed figure, to ensure that all this “commenced” activity is being translated into actual connections in a timely manner.

  18. I’m becoming increasingly disillusional with Renai and Delimiter….what was once a great read and once a breath of fresh air against the liberal FUD machine is now starting to emulate a lot of the rhetoric and negativity that Malcolm Turnbull’s website publishes with little thought on logic, engineering requirements or even reflection on what NBNCo’s Plan was all along!

    You stated:
    “It’s been three and a half years since NBN Co was formed, people. The company has about 1,700 staff and construction and equipment contracts coming out the wazoo. But it’s still not delivering on its key aim of building its goddamn nationwide fibre network and attracting customers to that network.”

    Really Renai? I would expect this to come out on a liberal press release not on this site. You are completely ignoring the fact that at least 6 months was lost due to protracted negotiations with greedy Telstra and an ACCC that changed the goal posts re POIs. There was NOTHING NBNco could do.

    You don’t form a company charged with building the biggest infrastructure project in this country and expect it to start digging trenches the following week!! To build a HOUSE it takes months of planning, architecture designing, permits, contracting, revision of plans, site analysis which easily drag it out 1-2 years….thats for a single house! NBNco has to design an entire country’s telecom network, spanning millions of houses of all sorts of types, across 3 types of technologies, test it (hence the trial release sites at the beginning), learn from the testing and go back and refine it’s plans…Do you really think that 3 years is a long time to achieve all that??? Heck they even have 350,000 premises passed by December 2012 as well and 750,000 by FY 2013!

    “And Ericsson, not NBN Co itself, is building NBN Co’s wireless network. Ericsson has plenty of experience in this field; you may remember that the company build Telstra’s excellent Next G mobile network.”

    Huh? NBNco is not ‘building’ anything itself. It also contracted outside companies to build it for them that is nothing new. Some of the design is done in house but none of the building is done by NBNco just like Telstra itself never built its HFC network itself (Visionstream did it).

    Renai, I urge you please please please return Delimiter to it’s former glory of quality articles that were well researched, loaded with facts and less emotional hyperbole and Liberal party style negativity. I used to look forward to NBN articles here as they were a breath of fresh air compared to the mainstream media. However , lately the NBN articles have descended to a “Today Tonight” style journalism designed for the masses. This is a tech website so I would expect the writer and it’s audience to have a MUCH better understanding of the requiments and complexities of the project than the typical Joe out there who will just believe whatever tripe comes out of Malcolm Turnbull.

  19. A 10 year rollout?! That’s why we should all vote in the Coalition. Abbott promises the NBN will be “finished” the day after he takes power.


  20. How many people here have NBN connections? None? Thought so.

    An Australian with an NBN connection is rarer than a hen with teeth.

    • …. and? This site isn’t just an evidence based one, I am pretty sure that Renai likes people to make actual points as well.

    • A friend of the family has a connection, and I’ve used that connection (although while they were in Telstra’s trail phase so only 25/5). No argument it’s rare though ;P

  21. So Mike Quigley said ““As can be seen by our targets …”.

    What are your targets for end-December 2012, Mike? It’s hard to know how well you’re doing if we don’t know what you were aiming at.

    • Well he is talking about the graph down the bottom. It doesn’t show tragets for December all previous months show actuallys. Looking at the general curve of the graph it’s seems pretty clear they are ahead of the general trend or they planned a sudden jump in December.

  22. If they pass my place, I’ll sign up THAT DAY! Hurry up NBN, i’m one of the stats you want! :P

    Feb-May 2013 is my start date, man I am so impatient!

  23. The main problem is that currently that are only allowed to activate a fibre service area when that “designated” deployment area is complete. I say designated as it does not mean a whole suburb only when they have reached a certain number of percentage of an area do they get a politician in to turn on the service.

    The NBN in rural and Regional areas would first and foremost be best deployed and activated as each street is done and ideally have the Commercial/Industrial (Business areas) done first as this will have the most significant impact for those communities.

    Also there is a lack of interest due to telstra /optus customers not wanting to sign up as of yet if it was easier to sign up as one of those customers then yes there would be more take up.

    Please do note that alot of the network is held back by local councils as well trying to play politics.

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