iiNet has announced this morning that it has over 10,000 customers on fibre services — more than the 7,000 active fibre customers on the National Broadband Network (NBN).
The company said today that it has 8,000 customers on TransACT's fibre-to-the-home (FttH) network in the ACT, and an additional 2,700 customers on the NBN. By comparison, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy told the Senate yesterday that NBN Co has, including iiNet's 2,700. This is an extra 600 on the figure given to the government by NBN Co at the end of October.
iiNet CEO Michael Malone said that iiNet is the leader in FttH networks.
"When it comes to FttH, we're using every opportunity to connect as many Australians as we can to the best internet around," he said.
The glory is likely to be short lived, however, with NBN Co projecting that 286,000 premises will be able to take up fibre services on the NBN by the end of June 2013. The network rollout is on a ramp-up phase, but even if NBN Co just keeps making the same number of fibre connections per month, it will easily surpass iiNet's figure in the next few months.
iiNet's statement comes at a time when it isNBN Co to offer it a similar deal to Optus and Telstra to stop iiNet competing with NBN Co in those areas where the company has existing fixed-fibre or hybrid-fibre coaxial (HFC) infrastructure. Malone said last week that he wants around AU$200 million for the TransACT network alone.
"NBN can't force us to turn it off; they would have to buy it off us or compensate us to shut it down," he said.
"We would be delighted to do a deal with NBN for AU$1,050 per premises passed. That would put the value of the TransACT network at over AU$200 million. That is approximately the replacement cost of that network."