NBN Co exceeds 2012 target

NBN Co exceeds 2012 target

Summary: The company charged with rolling out Australia's National Broadband Network has said that it beat its 758,000 premises target for 2012.


NBN Co slightly exceeded the politically divisive target that it set to have National Broadband Network (NBN) construction commenced or completed at 758,000 premises by the end of 2012.

The company said today that construction work had commenced or been completed at 784,592 premises by the end of 2012 — 26,592 more than the company had forecast in its corporate plan.

In a statement, NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley said that the results show that the NBN is ramping up to a full-volume rollout.

"I particularly thank our network planning and design team, our contract managers, and our construction partners for their efforts. By working together to achieve this year-end outcome, the combined project team has established the settings to reach the peak rollout target of passing over 6,000 premises a day by 2015," Quigley said.

The use of the term "commenced or completed" to describe NBN's goals has been criticised by Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull on several occasions. The term is used to define when NBN Co issues contract instructions to contractors for a particular fibre service access module (FSAM) that covers between 2,000 and 3,000 premises.

It can be several months before actual construction in those areas commences, because the contractors need to design, survey, and inspect the existing pit and pipe infrastructure before rolling out the fibre to those areas.

In March last year, Turnbull said that the metric was "Orwellian" in representing NBN Co's achievements.

"It's a very slippery use of language. In the fibre business, there are really two metrics that are relevant. One is how many premises you actually have connected and are actively using a service, and the other is how many premises you have passed," he told the ABC.

"You may as well say construction is underway for 12 million households. It's this Orwellian language; they're not being straight."

Acting Communications Minister Kim Carr said that Turnbull had questioned in February last year whether the goal was achievable.

"In February last year, Malcolm Turnbull expressed disbelief at this ambitious target," Carr said.

"He told Sky News that it was 'an extraordinary promise' and that 'there'll be a lot of admiration' for NBN Co if it was achieved.

"It's not often I get to acknowledge Mr Turnbull's prescience, but I'm delighted the opportunity has arisen for him to fulfill his commitment. I look forward to him praising NBN Co's achievement."

NBN Co has set the target of completing all necessary construction for 286,000 premises by the end of the June 2013. By the end of 2021, 93 percent of the Australian population will be in the fibre footprint for the NBN if the project reaches completion.

Topics: NBN, Government, Government AU


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.

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  • Nice work...

    Let the FUD commence...
  • this is wonderful news

    at a 15 percent take up rate (conservative #) NBN Co should have approximately 1.8M customers on line.
    Blank Look
    • All is clear

      Your maths ability explains your anti NBN stance
      Abel Adamski
      • Yep! I made an error

        and take that one on the chin.
        Blank Look
        • Cheers

          You are no orphan, too many interruptions can do that
          Abel Adamski
  • i love it

    fantastic news, well done NBN Co. I hope my home is installed before the federal election this year.
    Mark S-8ff5e
  • That's odd...

    The Fluddites are usually the first to comment on these NBN articles but are uncharacteristically absent.

    Anyway, of course these numbers are not the most interesting numbers, construction commenced is really not that exciting though I do understand NBNcos obligation to keep the public informed. I suspect the real reason why the coalition of clowns object to them is because they know those 'construction commenced' sites will be untouchable... must feel like acid in their mouths.
    Hubert Cumberdale
    • Fluddites are on the other side to the world holidaying;

      Nice to be thought of.

      "Commenced" metric halarious, as is Carr's misrepresentation of Turnbull's target comments (weren't related to this ridiculous metric but premises passed and/or connected). Not long now to we get the Dec figure update, to refresh memories:

      6358 premises were actively connected to the fibre network at as September 30 and it had passed 52,014 premises, while NBN Co's corporate plan of August 2012 said there would be 54,000 connections to the fibre network at that time.

      Yep good job boys;-)
      Richard Flude
      • "Fluddites are on the other side to the world holidaying"

        Yes, fluddy, we know, you seem to going out of your way to let everyone know you are on holiday (Hint: we don't care)

        "6358 premises were actively connected to the fibre network"

        More fibre connections sooner certainly is important but can you tell us why?

        "NBN Co's corporate plan of August 2012 said there would be 54,000 connections to the fibre network at that time"

        Page number?
        Hubert Cumberdale
      • Wrong.

        "Carr's misrepresentation of Turnbull's target comments (weren't related to this ridiculous metric but premises passed and/or connected)"
        • Indeed Karl

          From your URL"...

          Malcolm - "738,000 households (more) to pass" (laughs and suggests to interviewer that because they are both smiling neither of them believe they will)... "this is an extraordinary promise, now, you know, if they can do that I guess there will be a lot of admiration in terms of construction..."

          Well Malcolm... time to man-up and offer NBNCo the admiration you said would be owing, (but scoffed at when you thought it wouldn't occur) because not only has it occurred and proved you wrong, but it has been surpassed.

          We are waiting!
          • Point is it hasn't occurred

            The only metric we know NBNCo has exceeded is the commenced one.

            We'll wait for the Dec update.
            Richard Flude
          • Typically...

            You race to MT's defence....

            I used MT's figures from his interview, which have, according to this article (yes the one on topic) been surpassed.

            The truth is galling eh!
          • Got that page number yet fluddy?
            Hubert Cumberdale
          • HC...

            Give the self confessed, eminently educated CIO a break, he is in Beunos (sic) Aires... didn't you know ;)
          • eh? There is no reason why the NBNco website should be unreachable from there. The PDF is available to all... fluddy should be able to find that page number with relative ease. Besides I would have thought he would have noted the page number when reading it even filthy poor mathew of 12/1mbps fame provided a page number in his comments.
            Hubert Cumberdale
          • Speaking of lies...

            Perhaps that page number is only available in Beunos (sic) Aires ...LOL!
      • Repeat after me Richard - "exceeds 2012 target"

        So another of your baseless claims now refuted... but, but, but - GOLD

        Anyway, "commenced" metric halarious..."

        Err Mr I'm more educated than you all - it's hilarious not halarious...

        Sorry for being pedantic, but the irony of your 'more educated claim', with now 4 or 5 basic spelling mistakes in just a few days, is almost as humorous as your again trying to FUD up another good NBN report.

        I see too you again supported MT, Mr I'm not political (but who always supports MT and the Coalition position and bags the government) :/

        Anyway...I would like to see the NBN positively move forward for all Aussies (including you and your family Richard). Whereas sadly, you and your ego would love the NBN to fail and waste $b's simply so that you can say, there told you.

        What a sorry bitter man you must be :) Oops sorry, what a sorry bitter 'CIO in Argentina', you must be :)
  • Turnbull's bull (again)

    Don't you just love how Mr Turnbull states with absolute authority: "In the fibre business [the one I was never in], there are really two metrics that are relevant. One is how many premises you actually have connected and are actively using a service, and the other is how many premises you have passed".

    Let's look at this another way. With any major infrastructure project that takes place in your neighbourhood (say, a new road, bridge, tunnel, or, fibre rollout) there are two things you look out for: firstly, the date when work actually begins; and secondly, the date when it is finished and ready for use.

    The start of work is significant, because only then do you know that it is really happening - after all, you've been hearing about this wonderful new piece of infrastructure for years; the politicians have been telling you all about it, the planning and preparation are going on and so forth. But where are the cranes? Where are the diggers, the hard hats, the road closures, the signs that work is actually going to BEGIN?

    And then, once work begins, you can (perhaps) see the progress, or at least, you can see the work underway, the procession of workers, trucks and equipment or whatever. Then all you want to know is: when will it be FINISHED? When will I be able to drive on the road, over the bridge, or go through the tunnel? When will I be able to use this new-fangled fibre?

    And that's what NBN Co is looking at - two sets of figures: the total number where SOMETHING IS HAPPENING (ie not just waiting for something to happen some years down the track BUT ACTUALLY HAPPENING) and when you, the end customer can USE IT.

    Yes, they've rolled together the "commenced" and "completed"; partly (I believe) because NBN Co doesn't trust media outlets to be smart enough to do it themselves. They don't want journos to start saying next year that "work is only underway on 2 million premises - out of 12 million nationwide", when by that stage an additional 1 million might already have been completed and able to sign up for a service.

    Yes, they also need to keep up to date the numbers of people able to access a service - where the FSAMs have been switched on and RSPs can sign people up. That's obviously pretty important, and of course, NBN Co knows that.

    Both sets of figures are relevant, meaningful and important. Both will tell the story that needs to be heard - that the project is progressing, and that the ramp-up will be extremely evident over the next 12 months.
    • You are right gwyntaglaw, both numbers are relevant, thing is most people (and this is understandable) are really not interested in the process just the end result and that is how many premises are passed and/or connected. Turnbull however SHOULD be concerned with the construction commenced number. He is a politician and one that is aspiring to run the country along with his zoo crew chums and that would include the NBN. I'd be very concerned voting for someone like this that regards the numbers as 'irrelevant'.
      Hubert Cumberdale