news The NBN company today stated that customers using its Fibre to the Node service were just as satisfied with their broadband service as those using Fibre to the Premises services, on the basis of the industry standard Net Promoter Score rating.
The original version of the NBN as envisioned by the previous Labor Government called for most Australian premises to be covered by a full Fibre to the Premises rollout, with the remainder to be covered by satellite and fixed wireless technology.
The Coalition’s controversial Multi-Technology Mix instituted by Malcolm Turnbull as Communications Minister has seen the company switch to a model re-using and upgrading the legacy copper and HFC cable networks owned by Telstra and Optus.
However, despite the fact that Labor’s original FTTP model for the NBN provides an objectively technically superior service, today the NBN company went to substantial effort to inform the public that its statistics showed that end user customers considered that they were equally satisfied by each technology platform.
This morning the Financial Review and Australian newspapers published information sent exclusively to them yesterday by the NBN company relating to the company’s latest statistics on its ‘Net Promoter Score’, an industry standard used by the telco sector to determine customer satisfaction.
In the articles — and in a follow-up media release and financial results briefing this morning — the NBN company stated clearly that “User Satisfaction for FTTP and FTTN” was “at the same level”, with “both scoring 7.7 out of 10 for use of the service”.
“The positive experience of connected end-users continues to build advocacy for services over the NBN network, with advocacy rates above 70 per cent for all products including the recently launched FTTN technology,” the NBN company said.
“Although it’s early stages for the latest inclusion to the Multi-Technology Mix, research to date shows the same high percentage of FTTN connected end-users are likely to recommend the NBN network as those with an FTTP connections (both 70 per cent).”
“In the same initial research findings, the experience of FTTN connected homes and FTTP connected homes are the same high levels of satisfaction, with both groups scoring at 7.7 of out 10 for use of the technology. Fixed Wireless customers score their service even higher, at 8.1 out of 10.”
The NBN company’s Net Promoter Score is now +31, an increase of four points from +27 at 30 June 2015. At the same time, the experience of NBN customers, the retail service providers, is improving, with customer engagement trending upwards at the most recent survey.
The news comes as the NBN company in general continues to make strong strides in deploying its network — both the original FTTP network envisioned by Labor as well as the Multi-Technology Mix approach favoured by the Coalition.
This morning the company revealed the number of premises that could order an NBN service had reached nearly 1.7 million, with the company adding 450,000 homes and businesses to its footprint in the six months to the end of December. The company now has some 736,000 premises who are using its services, and is adding on more than 10,000 live customers per week.
The NBN company is particularly ramping up the speed of its Fibre to the Node rollout. It currently has some 120,000 premises being ready for service using FTTN or Fibre to the Basement connections, and the NBN company has a further 600,000 FTTN/B premises under development, and a further 1.29 million in design and preparation. The company says it is on track to meet its full year ready for service footprint target of 500,000 FTTN premises.
The company said: “The accelerated results for NBN in deploying FTTN is becoming evident, with approximately 34,000 premises being added to the footprint in January 2016, at a rate of 8,000 per week (12-week rolling average).”
The network growth has come with corresponding financial growth, with the NBN company having grown its revenue by 152 percent to $164 million compared with the same period 12 months earlier. The NBN company is pulling in average revenue per user (ARPU) of about $43 per month.
NBN CEO, Bill Morrow, said: “Today’s result solidifies 2015 as a year where we met or exceeded every target the Board set for the company, and is a clear signal we will reach our fiscal year goals.”
“There is accelerated growth across all areas of the network, while important milestones are continually achieved with customers, industry partners and the NBN workforce. The organisation is focused on delivering our full year commitments and on bringing the benefits of fast broadband to more and more communities across Australia.”
“We are now seeing the early signs of the network being built at scale, with the construction of Fibre-to-the-Node rapidly extending the footprint to homes and businesses. We are also encouraged by the end-user demand in our initial launch areas.”
Opinion and analysis to follow.
Image credit: NBN company