NBN announces first quarter results; outlines next locations for ‘on demand’ FTTP upgrades

8 Nov 2021

Australia’s NBN Co has released its financial results for the first quarter of its current fiscal year (which ends 30 June 2022), reporting a total turnover of AUD1.25 billion (USD924 million), up 17% year-on-year. Meanwhile, the company said that EBITDA after subscriber costs totalled AUD714 million in the three months ended 30 September 2021, up from AUD102 million in the corresponding period a year earlier. NBN Co recorded AUD86 million in subscriber payments to Telstra and Optus during the quarter, compared to AUD469 million in the corresponding period a year ago. As the company has previously stated, these subscriber payments are expected to continue to decrease and are forecast to cease by FY24.

In terms of operational highlights, NBN Co said that more than 110,000 new homes and businesses were connected to the National Broadband Network (NBN) in the three-month period under review, bringing total activations to 8.3 million as of 30 September 2021. Around 77% of subscriptions were reported to be signed up to plans based on wholesale speed tiers with peak download speeds of 50Mbps or above, while approximately 16% were on a tariff offering a peak speed of at least 100Mbps.

Alongside releasing its financial results, NBN Co also unveiled the latest list of suburbs and towns where an additional 200,000 premises will benefit from the extension of fibre deeper into communities. These upgrades will enable premises that are currently served by fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) technology to become eligible for fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) upgrades, on demand, when a customer places an order with their retail service provider (RSP) for a plan based on the ‘Home Fast’, ‘Home Superfast’ or ‘Home Ultrafast’ wholesale speed tier. NBN Co says it expects to enable RSPs to begin taking orders for higher speed tiers from the first eligible customers from March 2022.

Following earlier announcements on the rollout of fibre deeper into communities to pass some 1.4 million premises, this latest announcement takes that total to 1.6 million premises and includes additional suburbs and towns in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia. Ultimately, the FTTN to FTTP network upgrade programme aims to enable up to two million premises to access NBN Co’s ‘Home Ultrafast (FTTP)’ service, which offers wholesale download speeds of ‘close to 1Gbps’. Such work is, meanwhile, part of NBN Co’s wider AUD3.5 billion network upgrade programme under which it aims to make its highest wholesale speed tiers available, ‘as demand arises’, to around eight million premises or up to 75% of homes and businesses on the fixed line network by 2023.

Australia, NBN Co