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NBN Outlines “Bold Plan” Amid Funding Blowout

NBN Outlines "Bold Plan" Amid Funding BlowoutNBN’s 2015 financial year results have revealed that the number of premises using the NBN currently stands at 486,000 homes and businesses, with the number of serviceable premises totalling 1.2 million.

NBN expects 4.4 million families and business owners to be active on the network by 2018, in turn delivering a ten-fold increase in revenue to $1.7 billion.

“The introduction of additional technologies, a projected boost to the size of the construction workforce and newly signed agreements with the construction industry are anticipated to see the total number of premises that are able to connect double over each of the next three years to 9.1 million,” NBN stated in unveiling its targets.

NBN CEO Bill Morrow has described it as a “bold plan”, putting NBN within “striking distance” of its “ultimate goal of delivering better broadband to every Australian by 2020”.

“The steps we have taken over the past 12 months have already delivered increases in revenue, activations and serviceable premises,” Morrow commented. “The work to date has also given us a more accurate picture of the actual costs of the build.”

Delivering the service could be significantly more expensive than formerly predicted, with estimates for the multi-technology mix (MTM) rollout having risen.

The plan estimates an increase in peak funding, which it estimates as being in the range of $46 to $56 billion, with a base case peak funding of $49 billion being targeted, up from a previous estimate of $41 billion.

Meanwhile, a joint media release issued today by Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull and Minister for Finance Mathias Cormann has touted the benefits of the NBN’s MTM approach as opposed to fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP).

The release notes NBN “is free to use whatever mix of technologies is required to get the job done as quickly and cost-effectively as possible”.

“The company therefore has, in the light of its extensive experience building FTTP, determined what the peak funding requirement and time to complete would be for an all-FTTP build,” the release states. The company’s conclusion is that an all-FTTP approach, as proposed by Labor, would have a peak funding requirement of $74 billion to $84 billion and would not be finished until as late as 2028.

“The company’s MTM approach as set out in the Corporate Plan will see the network completed by 2020 with a peak funding requirement of between $46 billion and $56 billion with a base case of $49 billion.”