How many people who can get the NBN have actually signed up?

Alex Kidman 9 November 2015

NBN-fibre-closeup-handsThe National Broadband Network (NBN) rollout continues, but less than half of those who could have been connected have opted to do so.

nbn, the company responsible for building Australia's high-speed National Broadband Network (NBN), has released its latest quarterly report into the progress of the network rollout.

The company says that it has increased the number of homes which can connect to an NBN service to 1,383,375 premises, up from 725,535 premises at the same time last year. Of those premises, nbn reports that some 610,712 premises have an active connection, up from 266,984 premises for the same time last year.

As you might expect, fibre connections predominate in those figures, although it does include the period in which slower fibre to the node (FTTN) products were launched. Here’s how the current breakdown of premises ready for service compares to the same period last year.

Connection TypeQuarter ending September 2014Quarter ending September 2015
Satellite48,00048,000
Fixed Wireless129,158293,926
FTTN028,822
FTTP548,3771,012,627
Total725,5351,383,37

Of those able to get an NBN connection, less than half have actually opted to do so. Here's how the numbers break out across connection types:

Active End UsersSeptember 2014September 2015
Satellite41,64237,063
Fixed Wireless22,62467,860
FTTN0375
FTTP202,718505,414
Total266,984610,712

Of those users able to get and interested in an NBN connection, it appears that the slower and cheaper plans are still the most popular. Here’s how the different connection speeds break out across both fibre and fixed wireless connections.

Fibre speeds (Mbps)Quarter ending September 2014Quarter ending September 2015
12/138%35%
25/539%43%
25/101%1%
2 1/24%4%
2 1/218%17%
Total100%100%
Fixed Wireless speed (Mbps)Quarter ending September 2014Quarter ending September 2015
12/128%18%
25/572%82%
Total100%100%

For fixed line NBN connections, the trend continues to be towards the lower end speed connections, but for fixed wireless it’s reversing, with the majority of connections taking up the fastest available tier.

nbn has also announced its pilot trial for HFC connections using existing pay TV cabling, which will take place in Redcliffe in Queensland, involving some 300 homes and four service providers. It’s expected that HFC products will go on sale in 2016 to the general public, although depending on where you are you may not see active HFC service through the NBN until 2017 or 2018.

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