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

Alex Kidman 9 November 2015 NEWS

The 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 Type Quarter ending September 2014 Quarter ending September 2015
Satellite 48,000 48,000
Fixed Wireless 129,158 293,926
FTTN 0 28,822
FTTP 548,377 1,012,627
Total 725,535 1,383,37

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 Users September 2014 September 2015
Satellite 41,642 37,063
Fixed Wireless 22,624 67,860
FTTN 0 375
FTTP 202,718 505,414
Total 266,984 610,712

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 2014 Quarter ending September 2015
12/1 38% 35%
25/5 39% 43%
25/10 1% 1%
2 1/2 4% 4%
2 1/2 18% 17%
Total 100% 100%
Fixed Wireless speed (Mbps) Quarter ending September 2014 Quarter ending September 2015
12/1 28% 18%
25/5 72% 82%
Total 100% 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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