NBN Co has reportedly already achieved its FY 2020 year-end target for the number of premises reached by its network, which now covers 11.5 million premises across Australia. In a press release regarding the development, the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, noted that the construction of the National Broadband Network (NBN) is now 99% complete, with the build milestone for 30 June 2020 having been achieved one month ahead of scheduled ‘notwithstanding recent bushfires, floods and the COVID-19 pandemic’. According to the minister, since the start of 2020 more than one million premises have been declared ‘ready to connect’, with more than 600,000 homes and business having signed up for an NBN service over that same period.
With regards to the final stages of the network rollout, it was noted that the 2020-2023 Corporate Plan details the complex connections, such as culturally significant and heritage sites, that will be completed as soon as practicable. Here, Fletcher said: ‘NBN Co is aiming to make 80% of these complex connections ready to connect by the end of 2020.’ Meanwhile, it was also confirmed that NBN Co will provide formal advice to the minister ‘later this year’, when it considers its rollout to be complete, following which the minister will request the company undertake a detailed technical assessment of its network. The outcome of that assessment will then inform the minister’s decision to declare the network built and fully operational under the NBN Companies Act.