Money Problems To Come, But NBN Co Beats Its Targets
NBN Co chief executive Bill Morrow, pictured, was able to heave a sigh of relief yesterday after releasing figures showing more than 1.1 million Australian homes and businesses now have an NBN connection, ahead of the target of 995,000 – and that number should rise to 2.3 million by the end of June 2017.
The number of active services more than doubled over the latest financial year, from 486,000 a year ago to 1.1 million. And the number of premises now actually able to connect – though many have yet to do so – is just under three million.
By the end of the current financial year in June 2017, the figures should read 5.4 million premises ready for connection, with 2.3 million actually connected. Eventually of course, nearly all will be connected – since by 2020 or so Telstra’s ADSL services will be shut down, and those who haven’t signed up will find themselves without a home phone or Internet connection.
Morrow announced the figures at an analyst and media presentation. He was plainly gratified – as must be the Turnbull Government – that, after years of failing to hit targets, NBN Co appears to be actually getting ahead.
Paul Budde, the respected telecoms researcher and commentator, yesterday told “If we take the politics, the disappointment about the second-rate infrastructure and the wholesale/competition issues aside, then it seems to me that there is no doubt that NBN is now in a good rhythm with their rollout.
“They seem to have it fine-tuned and, with further progress over coming months, there is indeed a good chance that they reach their target or even improve on it. It is just a real pity that they can’t use this good-oiled machine to deploy FttP/Fttdp instead of FttN.
“While revenues are up, the financial future remains very uncertain, with government money [for the rollout] due to run out at the end of the current financial year. There was no indication on how they are going to raise the rest, but as the Government is looking into this, it could well be that in one way or another Canberra will have to cough up the money. It would be very difficult for NBN to raise the money privately.
“But from an infrastructure deployment point of view – full respect for the company.”