More than a quarter of NBN connections are now 50Mbps or more

Posted: 10 May 2018 11:22 am News

NBN's third-quarter report shows a very healthy growth in the number of Australians hooking up to faster connections on the national broadband network.

NBN Co, the company tasked with building the national broadband network, has released its third-quarter results through to March 2018, detailing both its incoming revenue and how it's progressing with the build and take-up of the NBN.

In sheer revenue terms, it's both earning and spending more. Total revenue was up to $1.4 billion from $665 million 12 months prior.

That's something that outgoing nbn co CEO Bill Morrow puts firmly down to the increased rollout and especially to the increased take-up of 50Mbps services under the current promotional period, which was to end in May but will now be extended through to October this year.

"We've been delighted with the take-up of the 50 tier," he said.

There's a definite trend towards the 50Mbps tier in nbn co's figures, although it's not a trend that extends out to faster 100/40Mbps plans, which have actually dropped by percentage of take-up through to March 2018. Here's how those figures compare over time:

While Morrow recently came under fire for a position paper where he outlined the issues inherent in the use of copper-based technologies such as FTTN, in a conference call with journalists, he strenuously defended the multi-technology mix. "We would not have been able to make the progress we've made if we hadn't adopted the multi-technology mix approach."

"I am of the view that the trade-offs of using existing infrastructure are worth it," he said.

So how much progress has been made? According to the figures in nbn co's third-quarter report, here's how the take-up across the different technology types in the NBN MTM mix has progressed through to March 2018:

In build terms, here's the numbers for premises ready for service over time through to March 2018, at which point nbn co reports a total of 7,507,979 premises in total.


The ready-to-connect figures, where nbn co details actual availability of NBN services to end premises are always going to be slightly lower thanks to more difficult premises connections, but here again nbn co shows an overall improvement. All up, some 6,490,915 premises are reported as ready to connect:

There have been ongoing issues with connection quality on the national broadband network, but Morrow was adamant that nbn co is doing what it can to assist end users.

"An end user experience is mostly driven by what their RSP delivers, but also has to do with their in-home equipment and network." he said. "For the portion that NBN controls, we are doing our part."

The ACCC has also put out its quarterly Wholesale Market Indicators Report, indicating that in NBN terms, 26% of all NBN plans are now offered at 50Mbps rate, up from only 4.6% in December 2017.

"We are pleased to see retailers taking up the higher speed services and enabling their customers to shift to 50Mbps plans. This is good for consumers who can enjoy the benefits of higher speeds," Rod Sims, ACCC Chair said.

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