Following on from the ACCC’s quarterly release of key wholesale statistics for the National Broadband Network (NBN), the company overseeing the project – nbn – has now published its latest financial results, highlighting that in the year ended 30 June 2017 nbn recorded revenues of AUD1.00 billion (USD787 million), more than double the AUD421 million it reported in the previous fiscal year, and ahead of its target of AUD900 million. However, with total expenses also increasing by a notable amount – rising 71% year-on-year to AUD3.40 billion in FY 2017 – the company reported a negative EBITDA of AUD2.39 billion and an operating loss of AUD3.87 billion (FY 2016: AUD2.45 billion).
Operational indicators were a brighter spot, with nbn confirming that 5.71 million premises are now classified as ready for service, up from 2.89 million at end-June 2016. The company’s fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) rollout helped drive the coverage expansion, with the technology now available to 2.49 million homes and businesses by the end of the reporting period, up from less than 700,000 a year earlier. Meanwhile, the number of subscribers served over the NBN more than doubled in the year to 30 June 2017, to 2.44 million, up from 1.09 million at mid-2016.
Commenting on the company’s performance, nbn chief executive Bill Morrow said: ‘To almost double the footprint again on the back last year’s efforts is incredible progress and means many more Australians will have access to fast broadband sooner … The momentum has seen the team deliver a record 140,000 premises to the footprint in one week, putting us clearly at the centre of our peak construction period.’ With an eye on the future, meanwhile, Mr Morrow added: ‘Looking ahead, FY2018 is another significant construction year, and arguably the most visible and difficult as we rollout in high-density cities. We are taking our learning from the first half of the build, and applying them to ensure greater serviceability and efficiencies.’