Australia’s NBN Co has reported what it termed a ‘strong third quarter … with both build and activations ahead of target’. For the nine months ended 31 March 2020 the infrastructure provider booked total revenue of AUD2.81 billion (USD1.82 billion), up from AUD2.041 billion in the corresponding period a year ago, with turnover derived from residential users accounting for the lion’s share – AUD2.17 billion, up from AUD1.56 billion – and revenue from business users and ‘other’ standing at AUD496 million (9M20: AUD341 million) and AUD141 million (AUD140 million), respectively.
Statutory EBITDA before subscriber costs was reported at AUD1.25 billion in the nine months to 31 March 2020, while NBN Co noted that it had paid a record AUD1.98 billion in subscriber costs to Telstra and Optus in the period under review. Meanwhile, as the company’s network rollout reaches its closing stages, NBN Co reported that capital expenditure had declined to AUD3.73 billion in 9M20, down from AUD4.29 billion in the corresponding year-ago period.
With regards to operational indicators, NBN Co confirmed that a total of 11.161 million premises were classified as ready to connect as of 31 March 2020, up from 8.835 million a year earlier. Of the total, fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) technology was reported as being the most widely available, reaching 4.603 million premises (Mar-19: 4.105 million), while fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) and fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) connections were available at 1.168 million (426,212) and 1.931 million (1.775 million), respectively. HFC-based services were said to be available to 2.458 million premises (Mar-19: 1.445 million), while rounding out the company’s infrastructure it also confirmed that 411,137 homes and businesses had access to its satellite-based service, with a further 589,429 premises being within the footprint of its LTE-based fixed-wireless offering.
Commenting on the company’s progress, NBN Co CEO Stephen Rue noted: ‘Reaching the seven million milestone shows that NBN Co is delivering on its purpose and commitment of lifting Australia’s digital capability. We remain on track to make 11.5 million premises ready to connect thereby completing the initial rollout by 30 June 2020.’
In terms of uptake, meanwhile, NBN Co reported that at 31 March 2020 there were a total of 6.885 million active connections on its books, up from 5.062 million a year earlier. Of the total, 2.969 million were connected via FTTN (Mar-19: 2.591 million), while HFC-based accesses and FTTP lines totalled 1.584 million (666,521) and 1.395 million (1.295 million), respectively, and FTTC accesses reached 532,129 (138,384). In terms of non-fixed accesses, fixed-wireless users numbered 306,963 at the end of March 2020 (up from 276,068) and satellite users stood at 97,499, compared to 94,911 a year earlier.