iiNet 'furious' with lethargic NBN roll-out

iiNet 'furious' with lethargic NBN roll-out

Summary: As iiNet grows its customer base with the roll-out of the National Broadband Network, the company's CEO says he is "furious" at the progress of the roll-out to date.

TOPICS: NBN, Telcos, Australia

As iiNet pushes organic customer growth through the roll-out of the National Broadband Network (NBN), CEO David Buckingham is 'furious' that the fibre project isn't rolling out quicker.

According to the company's results, iiNet holds over 20 percent of the NBN market, with 65,000 customers on the NBN as of the end of June this year.

Buckingham had flagged in the company's annual results today that the company's push in the NBN market in places it was available had seen its customer base steadily increase with over 50 percent of customers on the NBN new to iiNet.

But the progression of the NBN remains a concern for Buckingham. Although Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has allowed the fibre roll-out to continue for the time being, reviews and overhauls of NBN Co, and renegotiations with Telstra to access the company's copper and HFC networks for fibre to the node were frustrating iiNet, Buckingham said.

"We're furious about it," he said.

"NBN needs to get on with the roll-out. We're sick of waiting. Speed up their operational roll-out, speed up negotiations, they really need to speed up everything. They really need to start unleashing the plan that they keep putting in front of us," he said.

Buckingham joined Vodafone CEO Inaki Berroeta in criticising the government for the payments being made to Telstra at a time when the incumbent is more profitable than ever.

"I looked at Telstra's results the other day; I must admit I was pretty pessimistic for the rest of the day. When a company can make AU$7.5 billion in free cash more profit than the cashflow the whole Vodafone group made last year, and still get paid AU$640 million by the government for the NBN, things are weird in my mind," he said.

At Telstra's results last week, CEO David Thodey indicated Telstra and NBN Co had developed a framework for the renegotiated deal that would likely see Telstra hand over ownership of the copper and HFC network assets to NBN Co at no additional cost from the original AU$11 billion NBN deal.

The NBN is a money maker for iiNet, too, however, with Buckingham stating that the average revenue per user on the NBN is between AU$65 and AU$70 for NBN customers — some of the company's highest returns.

Those customers on the NBN were also using more than those on ADSL, with a 50 to 60 percent increase in usage on the NBN.

"We're seeing great results when the customers get on. They're loving the high speeds."

Over 70 percent of the company's customers were on plans higher than the entry-level 12Mbps plan, with Buckingham indicating that 40 percent were on 25Mbps, with around 15 percent on 50Mbps, and the rest on 100Mbps.

Topics: NBN, Telcos, Australia


Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Suck it up mate ...

    It is a monopoly - suck it up. Would love to see the math - how much we subsidise Telstra every time a circuit is connected.
    • or......

      I'd love to see how much better productivity would be in Australia and how many more startups can succeed here with a decent communications infrastructure.

      Forget the PPL, a decent NBN would allow mothers to do more work from home. All those people under 30 on the dole, might have a chance at creating a new business.

      I'm happy for tough measures on the unemployed but at least have the tools there like NBN and free education available as tools. I think the NBN may be a winning policy again for Labor in the next election. It was the most popular Labor policy among all voters including coalition voters and especially National voters. Abbott did a very good job of making it a minor issue, by making voters think he'd do something just as good but for less money. If they don't do something in the next 2 years this could be another policy to nail the coalition to the wall with.
      Justin Watson
      • Haha Abbotts election policies?

        Can be summed up in one line...
        "All that stuff he just said? Yeah we're not doing that"
  • iiNet upset by slow rollout...

    Thats cute. How should those inner city dwellers that will never get NBN, and have the choice of Slow ADSL(Not ADSL2, Just ADSL) or Optus charging like a wounded bull for 'high speed' cable that thanks to rotting infrastructure is actually SLOWER than the ADSL locally provided?
    • This place needs an edit button!

      er, How should they feel sorry.
  • The only winner

    The only winner from the deal Malcolm is doing will be Tesltra, that's the way the Liberals roll...
    • Because: conservatives

      That's the way every Conservative government has rolled throughout history - protecting the interests of established power bases via the transference of public wealth to specific private interests and the erection of protectionist barriers (whether those be through mechanisms such as privatisation, legislation, favourable contracts or discriminatory regulatory pressure on competitors). The surprising thing here isn't that the LNP have done this, it is that *anyone* is surprised by this situation, particularly journalists who should know better.

      The writing was on the wall for years. I really don't understand the determination of journalists to ignore historical facts and act like the world is a blank canvas every day - the LNP cannot be given the benefit of the doubt, because there is no doubt - even these specific politicians had a recent history of deceit, misinformation and factual misrepresentation (some might even say lying). Why in the world would they suddenly be honest and factual once in government, where they get to write the rulebook as they go?
  • iiNet Advert?

    Although I too am furious with the slow rollout of the NBN, this article looks like a paid iiNet advertisement.

    The left, top and right banners are all iiNet adverts, there are a further three iiNet adverts on the page making a total of 6 not counting the actual article, which could be argued as an iiNet advert too.

    Unsure why iiNet are actually pushing so hard with advertising when so few premises are connected.
    • Did the article read like an advertisement, really?

      Or is your objection to do with contextual advertising, which neither ZDNet nor iiNet have any control over. Seriously, go and educate yourself so you have some modicum of understanding about how contextual advertising works - it's a metric of page content and user browsing history/cookies. Given the page content is so heavily peppered with references to iiNet, it is only logical that the ads would be for them.

      But you know, feel free to knock yourself out attacking someone based on your total lack of knowledge, it's always amusing when the ignorant manage to make such complete and utter asses of themselves.
      • Spot on

        Spot on TrevorX.
        Dr. Ghostly
  • Yay, NBN rollout

    I live in the demographic centre of a major capital city. Guess when the NBN will be rolled out to my area? 2020....assuming the roll out plan doesn't slip, and we all know these major projects always stay on schedule...

    I'd be interested to see some analysis to see if certain Telco markets are being protected by the NBN roll out...
    Scott W-ef9ad
    • A Certain Anti-NBN Telco...

      ...Still misleads potential customers attempting to sign up for the NBN by insisting NBN is not available over 2 months after it was switched on in my area despite the $11Billion incebtive.
  • Turnbull spent three years in opposition whinging and bitching about the NBN.

    He has now been the responsible minister for a year, and the record shows his performance in what has been delivered is appalling. He should have the decency to resign, or be sacked.
  • MT should be sacked....

    He'll never resign.
    To thick skinned, a typical politician.

    A question..

    Is Telstra REALLY going to hand over the copper network for NO additional back scratching or payment..unbelievable!! Maybe they're feeling guilty with their huge profit... unlikely tho !!
    • Just Handing Over the Costs.

      Considering that about 15 years back Telstra itself stated that the condition of the copper was "10 Minutes to Midnight" & is now costing them approx 1 Billion PA to maintain customer's connectivity by using plastic lunch bags & a silent prayer one would assume they'll only be to happy pocket the $11 billion bonus to hand the entire liability & mess over to Turnbull.

      Then of course in return, Telstra will receive lucrative contracts & deals protected by a Secret Operational Matters Clause to remedy & maintain his dog's breakfast at our expense with Telstra directors & shareholders laughing all the way to the bank.
  • I wonder what Joe Hockey would say?

    Poor people don't need the internet, they can use tin cans and string.
  • Money trail

    He's got a point. If only it were possible to follow the money to see just how much, in total, the Coalition's darlings. Telstra were taking from the taxpayers of this country - and who in the Coalition is benefiting from it and how?
    Dr. Ghostly
  • Evil looking after the vested interests again.

    Our public money and wealth being given away to build a shitty third class NBN to pander those that have the money to corrupt our already not so honest politicians! Shame on our hopefully soon to be kicked out government.
  • It's Debatable That They'll be Kicked Out.

    Now that Murdoch's huge Foxtel profit margins have been secured against competition by Demolishing The NBN, he can afford to continue running his propaganda rags at a loss.
    With approx 70% of the market it's quite possible he'll again convince enough of the tech illiterate & gullible masses to return his Mad Monk puppet show again.