NBN Co reaches fibre target, misses wireless goal

NBN Co reaches fibre target, misses wireless goal

Summary: NBN Co has said that it has passed 163,500 existing premises with fibre as of the end of June, but missed its wireless target.


NBN Co is claiming a victory in meeting its revised target for premises passed as of the end of June, but the company has entered into another argument over whether premises passed truly means premises passed.

The government-owned company tasked with constructing and operating the AU$37.4 billion fibre-to-the-premises (FttP), fixed-wireless and satellite networks today said that as of the end of June, it had passed 163,500 brownfields premises and 44,000 greenfields premises with fibre.

In announcing a revision of its June forecast in March, NBN Co said it would pass between 155,000 and 175,000 brownfields premises, and between 35,000 and 45,000 greenfields.

Contention has arisen over whether NBN Co is counting premises passed that currently cannot get NBN services. The Australian Financial Review has reported that up to 55,000 premises included in NBN Co's figures cannot yet get services on the NBN.

NBN Co did not deny this when asked by ZDNet, but said that the argument is semantic.

"A premises passed is a premises passed, even if that premises is, say, an office block that will receive services over the NBN outside standard order lead times," an NBN Co spokesperson said.

"We use the accepted industry definition of 'premises passed' — that is, homes and businesses passed by an active telecommunications network. That standard measure includes those complex premises that will receive services over the NBN outside standard order lead times."

The company also appears to have fallen massively short of its own August 2012 target for premises passed by the fixed-wireless network. NBN Co had set the target of 70,000 premises to be reached by the end of June in the corporate plan, but the figures released today state that 27,300 premises have been passed by the fixed-wireless network.

NBN Co told ZDNet that the fixed-wireless premises passed figure was revised in March down to 37,000, meaning that NBN Co still ultimately missed its revised target.

There has been speculation that NBN Co had been struggling to meet its targets for the fixed-wireless network due to poor premises location information and interference from tall trees.

As of the end of June, NBN Co had a total of 33,600 services active on the fibre network, with 1,900 fixed-wireless services and 34,600 satellite services active.

Topic: NBN


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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  • Thanks Josh

    Does the fibre figure include the TransACT deal?

    If not (i suspect it does) then well done NBNCo, you've sufficiently revised down a number to that you could meet. Ok not with wireless, nor active connections, nor revenue, nor ...

    A quarter (55k) of the premises passed figure unable to connect for another 12-18 months. Much like their "work commenced" metric it really is comical.
    Richard Flude
    • good work by NBN Co,

      beats me how wireless targets can be missed. Of more interest is the number of active paying users against plan.
      Knowledge Expert
      • Councils

        I'm sure the NIMBY's and local Councils have had large part in delaying the wireless deployment due to the constant whining about wireless towers. Remember that Optus gave up deploying HFC for the same reason. Not much has changed in council attitudes in those 20 years.
        • Council Obstructionism

          Some local councils are incredibly backward.
      • Active users indeed intriguing

        Especially greenfield sites. How is it under 1/3 have activated the service when it's likely their only fixed line connection?

        35k satellite users, yet over $1b for hardware to be launched next year!

        Wireless has under 10% penetration in markets most affected by poor Internet.

        Very little adds up. But well done on getting the numbers out (with glowing media release) so quickly. 4 days is much better the the typical 20+:-)
        Richard Flude
        • "Especially greenfield sites. How is it under 1/3 have activated the service when it's likely their only fixed line connection?"

          LOL, CIO cant figure out the basics;-)
          Hubert Cumberdale
          • Ok you got me

            what are the "basics" ?
            Knowledge Expert
    • More in the AFR (yes RS, HC, AA; biased)

      "In one part of South Perth, just 8.2 per cent of the premises, or 87 of 1057 premises, that NBN Co claimed had been “passed” by the fibre optic network were able to sign up.

      An NBN Co spokesman said every home and business passed by the NBN would receive a connection by the time all network construction is completed in 2021."

      Keep waiting I just;-)
      Richard Flude
      • And more, their negotiation skills

        "Steve Dalby, the chief regulatory officer of Perth-based internet service provider, iiNet, said NBN Co’s management treated the telco industry with contempt and refused to accept its advice on a range of issues.
        "If they don’t get their shit together, we will just happily go about our business and do our own thing,” Mr Dalby said. “NBN Co’s attitude is very dictatorial, it’s very public service and it’s very ‘take it or leave it’. It’s just surprising they have this attitude when you can actually leave it."
        [SingTel-Optus head]"Some of the concessions NBN Co asked for, in early versions of its SAU, would make Telstra blush."
        Richard Flude
        • that attitude is what I

          was worried that NBN Co would adopt. History repeating itself if you think back to the attitude of Telecom Australia.
          Knowledge Expert
    • It so appears they've redefined passed

      No longer using the definition in their corp plan II (p36) they've dumped the "ready for service" part. Tens of thousands of "premises passed" can't connect and won't be able to for over a year!

      Makes a mockery of the numbers. 4+yrs and billions of dollars spent for so little.

      You really couldn't write stuff this tragic and Orwellian:-(
      Richard Flude
    • Not TransACT

      I asked NBN Co today, and was told that the total doesn't include the premises acquired as part of the TransACT deal.
      Josh Taylor
      • there is not that much FTTH on transact anyway

        Only a couple of suburbs which can be seen on the map as not being in the 3 yr plan, whereas everything else in Canberra is. Transact was far worse at rolling out infrastructure than NBNco. I was continually called asking if i wanted to sign up early and be one of the first to get Transact services. It never went past my house in the end and there was never that much visibility.
        Justin Watson
    • One Eyed Critics

      With ample assistance from news Ltd, could the constant barrage of FUD from the FTTN detractors be having a detrimental impact on the NBN's results due to contractors & management constantly being told they're facing the axe in a few months time?

      Perhaps the anti FTTP regulars here could briefly apply similar criteria to the FTTN alternative.

      We have a "I'm not a Tech Head" would be PM who admits he's a liar placing a merchant banker (who Likes to Invest in FTTP overseas but constantly refers to BT's FTTN infrastructure) in charge with orders to "Demolish the FTTP NBN" here in OZ.

      Turnbull keeps spruiking selected 'facts' about how marvellous BT's FTTN is.
      Compare this to what Peter Cochrane who was with BT from 1962 and ended up their the Chief Technical Officer says:
      "fibre to the node-style broadband is “one of the biggest mistakes humanity has made, imposing huge bandwidth and unreliability problems on those who implement it"

      This is a video of Peter Cochrane (former CTO of BT) giving evidence at
      the UK's governments House of Lords Communications Committee


      You'll find this also answers a lot of questions that have been
      asked (ones like "Who needs 100Mbps?", "Can't wireless do it all
      anyway?", etc).

      (Note: There is an audio break in the middle during recess after which questions & answers resume)
  • When you've lost Renai

    "I sound a bit angry. That’s because I am. I had a lot of faith in this project. That faith has been constantly and repeatedly worn away over the past several years. It is my job to hold powerful people to account in Australia for their actions. Well here’s a reality check: That’s what I’m doing. NBN Co are obfuscating the truth here, and it’s not good enough."

    Poor delimiter regulars; Alex (RS) & HC.

    So true Renai; might be late to the party but its now impossible to ignore.
    Richard Flude
    • all along the watchtower

      It's pretty obvious really. I cant say that those in the know didnt see this coming.. you just cant have politicians making engineering decisions on major projects without consultation from industry experts with the adequate expertise. As for Bloggers... meh, you know, everyone has an opinion online, but who has any facts?

      given the project has already kickstart without any of the due diligence required, progress reports would likely be covered up with spin. at least NBN did serve a useful political tool for the Labor Gov't & It still has value, but at some point the viability of the project will catch up with them, and go from asset to liability.

      If Rudd manages to win the next election which is unlikely, another three years of this will see more money spent on what is essentially a poorly conceived white elephant, and it will become more and more difficult to hide. If Liberals win, it would be likely that all work on the project will cease, and the project unwound, and given that Broadband will no longer be a hot issue, especially if Liberals win by majority, we may go back to Liberal ideology of privately run infrastructure and projects put back onto Telcos.
    • Hey Fluddy feel free to let Renai how you feel on Delimter. I think it would "help your position" if you considered "other news sources" and share your CIO "knowledge" wherever you can. Why limit yourself to just Zdnet;-)
      Hubert Cumberdale
      • I read many sources

        Including delimiter. Why post there, a rabid fanboy site as even Renai posted.
        Richard Flude
        • Fluddy it's obvious you read it, you cant help yourself, also obvious the real reason why wont post there, there's no need to make excuses;-)
          Hubert Cumberdale
          • perhaps you can share

            with the rest of us why Richard will not post on the comma site.
            Knowledge Expert