Australia’s National Broadband Network saw ‘significant progress’ in the six months to December 2014, according to NBN Co, the company tasked with overseeing the project, with substantial increases in the number of serviceable premises, active end users and telecommunications revenue. Such progress, the company claimed, is the direct result of numerous improvements across the business, and it has said that is on track to meet its full year targets of one million serviceable premises, around 480,000 active end users and around AUD150 million (USD122 million) in annual revenue.
In the six months to end-December 2014 NBN Co confirmed that the number of serviceable premises increased to 748,552 (across all access technologies), up 35% against the number of premises covered at end-June 2014 and almost double the figure for end-2013. With the twelve-week rolling average for serviceable premises standing at 8,900 per week at December 2014, meanwhile, the rollout has since been escalated, and in February 2015 was reportedly tracking at 10,200 serviceable premises per week. Also of note, NBN Co pointed to the fact that following ‘concerted efforts … to improve the rollout process’, for the first time in the project’s history more than half of all premises nominally passed by fibre can now actually order a NBN service. Such a development is said to have contributed to an active premises count of 322,391 (across all technologies), a figure representing a 147% increase over the prior comparative period.
NBN Co meanwhile added that it remains on track with its plans to progressively transfer copper and hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) assets to the NBN, with fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) and fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) also on course to be released this calendar year. A customer pilot of HFC technology is expected to be carried out before the end of 2015, ahead of a commercial launch in 2016.
NBN Co CEO Bill Morrow said of the developments: ‘I’m pleased with the progress the company has made during the period … In the past six months we have made significant headway improving the existing rollout. This is a direct result of the work we have put into aligning our 3,000 employees around our common goals, improving end-to-end processes and better collaboration with retail service providers and delivery partners … Combined with the active steps we are taking to transition to the Multi-Technology Mix, including the successful re-negotiation of our agreements with Telstra and Optus, they put the company on a solid footing to enable us to deliver better broadband to Australians as quickly as possible and at least cost to taxpayers.’