NBN Co doubles coverage, user base over past year


news The NBN company has doubled the amount of premises it serves and the number of end user customers actually connected to its network over the past year, the company announced this morning, as the deployment of its broadband network around Australia continues to proceed.

This morning the company is releasing its financial results and its latest corporate plan, although neither are available publicly yet. In a statement, the company said it had met its targets for the 2015 financial year.

NBN company chief executive Bill Morrow said: “NBN has not only met its targets; it has exceeded them. The achievements of the past 12 months – including the recent regulatory approval of the Telstra agreement and the draft approval of the Optus deal – give us confidence that we can continue to accelerate the build. This will help us to meet our goal of ensuring that every home and business in Australia can receive fast broadband by 2020 so we can spur the digital economy and close the digital divide.”

“These achievements come as a direct result of refinements we have made to the organisation, including improved business processes, the resetting of relations with our delivery partners and increasing employee morale.”

In the 12 months to 30 June 2015, the company said:

  • The number of premises that can order an NBN service more than doubled from 553,000 premises to 1.2 million;
  • The number of homes and businesses with an active NBN service more than doubled from 210,000 to 486,000;
  • Telecommunications revenues more than doubled from $60 million to $161 million;
  • Customer satisfaction increased from 6.4 out of 10 to 6.6 points out of 10; and
  • Employee engagement increased by 16 per cent.

This progress contributed to Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) increasing from $37 to $40 per month and an increase in capital expenditure to $3.3 billion in line with the expansion of the rollout. The NBN company has received a total of $13.2 billion in equity funding at end of financial year 2015. Total Government equity contributions are capped at $29.5 billion.

Morrow added that the NBN company was “well-advanced” in its transition from a near-universal Fibre to the Premises model to the Multi-Technology Mix favoured by the Coalition.

In the past 12 months, the NBN company said,

  • All conditions precedent to the revised Definitive Agreements between NBN and Telstra have been satisfied or waived. The ACCC has also delivered a draft decision approving NBN’s plans to integrate parts of Optus’ Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) cable network and to progressively migrate its HFC customers onto the NBN™ network;
  • NBN carried out the commercial launch of its Fibre to the Building product, and completed construction for the first 200,000 Fibre to the Node premises, which will be activated progressively from the current quarter onwards; and
  • The company conducted a successful trial of HFC technology, procured HFC equipment and outlined a blueprint to upgrade the entire HFC footprint to the DOCSIS 3.1 standard.

Outside the fixed-line footprint, the company said the first of the two dedicated NBN satellites have passed all testing procedures and are scheduled for launch on 1 October 2015 AEST, with commercial services scheduled to come online progressively from the second half of FY16.

In addition, NBN has continued to expand its fixed wireless footprint and piloted the delivery of wholesale speeds of up to 50Mbps to users – up to double the original wholesale offering. A full commercial launch of the expanded offering is scheduled for the end of the current calendar year.

It’s difficult to know what to make of the NBN company’s results just yet — we don’t have a full copy of its financial results or its latest corporate plan. My approach today will be to report the news as it comes through, and then post some analysis tomorrow after the dust settles. There is a press conference scheduled for 12pm with Morrow and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull to discuss the corporate plan — we’ll know more about what’s going on at that point.

Image credit: The NBN company


  1. NBN company chief executive Bill Morrow said: “NBN has not only met its targets; it has exceeded them.

    Last I checked didnt NBN Co revise down it’s targets significantly – they sure as hell aren’t on target to deliver 25mbps to everyone by the end of 2016!

    • The last targets where revised down even more in nov last year if I remember.

      But if you keep changing the goal post you are bound to get a goal at some point.

    • I think they were just admitting that the Labour rollout was/is actually on track (because isn’t all this progress FttH?). Given there’s basically 0 real HFC or FTTN coverage that they’ve actually implemented afaik.

      Does make one wonder if they’d left well alone how much further along we’d be as well.

      • Lets review the Labor/Greens corporate plans (FTTP / All) forecast premises passed thru FY14 and actual performance to see if they were on track (‘000s):
        Corporate Plan 2011-13 2,711 / 3,256
        Corporate Plan 2012-15 1,307 / 1,681

        Actual FY14 (inc SC0) 492 / 604

  2. The NBNCo FY2015 Annual Report on page 28 reports that fibre speeds have dropped by 1Mbps to 35Mbps in the past 12 months due to a lack of demand.

    As at 30 June 2015:
    – 18 per cent of nbn’s services used a 100/40 Mbps* wholesale speed tier (30 June 2014: 20 per cent),
    – 42 per cent used a 25/5 Mbps wholesale speed tier (30 June 2014: 37 per cent)
    – 35 per cent used a 12/1 Mbps wholesale speed tier (30 June 2014: 38 per cent).

    In summary 80% will find little difference in speed between FTTN, HFC and 4G. Heck close to half of ADSL2+ connections can reach 12Mbps.

    Labor’s most accurate prediction was the lack of demand for faster speeds.

    • and yet faster speed tiers are still seeing much higher demand than Labor’s conservative forecasts!

      • Sorry Derek, but you are wrong about the faster speeds. In the 2012-2015 forecast, 100Mbps was forecast at 20%, (see page 64 of the 2012-2015 Corporate Plan, so slightly more are connecting at 25Mbps over 12Mbps, but we also aren’t seeing 250/100Mbps and faster connections.

        • You are ignoring the 50mbps plans, they have significantly higher uptake than forecasted.

          • 18% (100Mbps) + 42% (25Mbps) + 35% (12Mbps) leaves 5% for remaining plan options. If we assume that is totally 50Mbps, then it matches the percentage on page 64 of the 2012-2015 NBNCo Corporate Plan.

            Secondly, don’t forget that 50Mbps will be available on FTTN. Pretty sad when a FTTN network delivers the same performance for 80% of the population.

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