Rollout not slowing down as NBN Co quietly smashes targets

Rollout not slowing down as NBN Co quietly smashes targets

Summary: July's target of 357,000 premises passed for NBN Co will be beaten in a canter, as the company has delivered its highest monthly set of premises passed results for March.

SHARE:
15

For the first time in the National Broadband Network's existence, over half a million Australians are now considered passed or covered by the network.

The latest set of weekly rollout numbers distributed by NBN Co show that 512,659 premises are considered passed or covered by the NBN, with 166,642 premises activated on the network.

For existing "brownfields" premises, just under 341,000 premises are considered passed, with 246,073 able to accept an NBN fibre connection, leaving just under 95,000 premises needing extra work to be able to connect to the network. The number of active FTTP brownfield connections on the NBN currently stands at 74,456.

In the case of new "greenfields" developments, 93,897 premises and lots are passed, with 36,570 active connections.

Fixed wireless coverage on the NBN now covers 77,806 premises, and 11,673 services taken up.

The number of satellite customers on the NBN has been slowly trickling down from a peak of 44,447 users in January as NBN Co has stopped accepting new satellite users due to capacity restraints on the satellite's currently being used prior to the launch of NBN Co's two Ka-band satellites in 2015.

nbnmonthlyadditions-v1
Click to enlarge.(Image: Chris Duckett/ZDNet)

While the ramping up of construction is currently below the levels needed to pass the Malcolm Turnbull's original target of 450,000 brownfields premises covered by the fibre network at the end of June, the company is on target to smash its low-balled target of 357,000 brownfield premises passed.

In fact, from March 3 until March 31, the NBN Co added an additional 33,014 brownfield premises to its network — easily the best month for increased coverage the network has seen.

If the same run rate for March were to happen in each of the three months remaining until June 30, NBN Co would fall a mere 10,000 brownfields premises shy of its original 450,000 target.

The noticeable triumph for NBN Co since its weekly updates began after the election of the Liberal Government last year, has been the steady decline in the proportion of premises that are considered service class zero, which means that although the premise is passed by fibre, additional work is needed to be able to activate a connection, such as cabling required for an apartment block.

nbn_sc0
(Image: Chris Duckett/ZDNet)

At the end of June 2013, 34.08 percent of brownfields premises were considered service class zero, and in the nine months since, that proportion has been reduced to 27.83 percent at the end of March.

Although it is only a reduction of 6 percentage points, it equates to an extra 20,000 premises that are today able to activate an NBN FTTP service.

Throughout the opening three months of 2014, only 14.44 percent of premises passed by NBN Co and its contractors were considered Service Class Zero. During that time, NBN Co passed an additional 67,782 premises, of which 9,791 needed extra work in order to activate a service.

As the NBN fast approaches the time where the rollout will switch from its current pure FTTP rollout for fibre services over to the mixture of technologies model favoured by Coalition communications spokespeople for two decades, the uptake of NBN services has continued its steady rise.

nbn_uptake
(Image: Chris Duckett/ZDNet)

At the start of March, of the brownfields premises considered serviceable, the percentage that had activated the NBN broke past 30 percent. Similarly, greenfields uptake percentage has hovered just shy of 40 percent for the past month, and wireless has moved from 6.87 percent at the start of July last year to 15.92 percent last week.

Far from being in the middle of an Ministerial-mandated shutdown as some NBN commentators would have one believe, the NBN is actually being rolled out at a velocity not seen thus far in its existence.

That the prospect exists for the network to potentially to meet its discarded 450,000 target shows how the outlook for the network has improved.

This week saw the overall addition of 23,562 premises to the network, giving NBN Co its best week since the end of September last year.

NBN Co has progressed a long way since the Christmas/New Year break when the only change in brownfields passed figures was the removal of 59 premises from the total.

Topics: NBN, Broadband, Government AU

About

Chris started his journalistic adventure in 2006 as the Editor of Builder AU after originally joining CBS as a programmer. After a Canadian sojourn, he returned in 2011 as the Editor of TechRepublic Australia, and is now the Australian Editor of ZDNet.

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

Talkback

15 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • NBN Rollout

    That's a very nice story, but there's one hitch. And it's a biggie.

    Apparently while the rollout is full steam ahead, the ISPs can't get connections. While I am unfortunate enough to even be in a position to contemplate an NBN connection, this is the experience of a contributor to another site I frequent.

    [Re NBN Rollout

    I am in NBN Rollout area 2LJT-03 Killarney Vale, NSW. 2LJT-03 area has been ‘active’ for about 3 weeks.

    My specific local area FDA16 was activated last week. All ISP’s web sites confirm that NBN fibre is available at my address.

    As soon as I confirmed that, I placed an order with Skymesh, on their ‘match any plan’ offer.

    They attempted to place a connection order with NBNCo via their connection appointment portal. I was on the phone while they tried this. The system gave them an earliest offered date of, wait for it, 30 June, 2014 (3 months !!!).

    I groaned, but said, if that’s all there is, go for it. When they attempted to confirm, 20 seconds later, the offered appointment was gone. They have tried multiple times since. There are NO available appointments for connection for my location being offered by NBN, at any time, whatsoever.

    Has been like this for 5 days now. I phoned Exetel (another ISP), spoke to Daniel, a really nice chap. He went on line for me to see when an appointment could be made. Same answer. Ditto Optus.

    NBNCo are offering no connection dates at all.

    Spoke to NBNCo, got no coherent answer. They trot out the company line, ‘connection dates are a matter between you and your ISP’. When you explain that the ISP can get no available dates from NBNCo, they just rinse and repeat. Perfect Catch 22.

    It is a shambles. NBNCo say that an area is active, but are completely unable to provide an appointment for the last 10 to 20 metres into a house/business to be done.]

    The process is not complicated, no different to getting the phone on. Much less than getting power on. NBNCo say that rollout has occurred, but, in actuality, the ability to take up does not exist. Guess what the uptake will be in this area. At the moment NBNCo are forcing it to be precisely nil.]

    Another poster replied: if I had the cable 10 metres from my door, I would be doing backflips, even if it was going to take a while for the rest.

    Original contributor:
    [It may as well be 1000 kms away for all the good it does me. There are around 4,000 premises in this rollout area which are supposedly active.

    None of them, and I mean none, can get a date for a connection. All ISP’s including Telstra and Optus are getting the same answer.

    NBNCo has NO capability for connecting anybody in this area, at all, according to themselves. As I said, a shambles. Profound incompetence.]

    What do you think is going on? Especially given Malcolm Turnbull's propensity for telling people who demand an NBN connection they should have bought a property in an NBN-rollout area.
    Gipps
    • that sucks

      Just had a look at the "Available Appointment Capacity" at your CSA Berkeley Vale and can see there are plenty of spaces available. Perhaps you can send me a message on my site referencing this post and I can investigate. NBNSP.com.au
      nbnSP
    • Conspiracy?

      The Liberal govt would be in a lot of trouble if it was so easy to hook up the NBN. The ISPs love it but they can't do anything without the cooperation of the NBN corp. The Liberals don't want to look bad. Is it any relationship?
      TomAnderson-3ecad
  • keep going - dont' mess it up now

    Yes well the rollout of FTTP was expected to improve now.

    It has.

    So we need FTTN instead why exactly?
    richardw66
  • NBN Rollout

    That's a very nice story, but there's one hitch. And it's a biggie.

    Apparently while the rollout is full steam ahead, the ISPs can't get connections. While I am unfortunate enough to even be in a position to contemplate an NBN connection, this is the experience of a contributor to another site I frequent.

    [Re NBN Rollout

    I am in NBN Rollout area 2LJT-03 Killarney Vale, NSW. 2LJT-03 area has been ‘active’ for about 3 weeks.

    My specific local area FDA16 was activated last week. All ISP’s web sites confirm that NBN fibre is available at my address.

    As soon as I confirmed that, I placed an order with Skymesh, on their ‘match any plan’ offer.

    They attempted to place a connection order with NBNCo via their connection appointment portal. I was on the phone while they tried this. The system gave them an earliest offered date of, wait for it, 30 June, 2014 (3 months !!!).

    I groaned, but said, if that’s all there is, go for it. When they attempted to confirm, 20 seconds later, the offered appointment was gone. They have tried multiple times since. There are NO available appointments for connection for my location being offered by NBN, at any time, whatsoever.

    Has been like this for 5 days now. I phoned Exetel (another ISP), spoke to Daniel, a really nice chap. He went on line for me to see when an appointment could be made. Same answer. Ditto Optus.

    NBNCo are offering no connection dates at all.

    Spoke to NBNCo, got no coherent answer. They trot out the company line, ‘connection dates are a matter between you and your ISP’. When you explain that the ISP can get no available dates from NBNCo, they just rinse and repeat. Perfect Catch 22.

    It is a shambles. NBNCo say that an area is active, but are completely unable to provide an appointment for the last 10 to 20 metres into a house/business to be done.]

    The process is not complicated, no different to getting the phone on. Much less than getting power on. NBNCo say that rollout has occurred, but, in actuality, the ability to take up does not exist. Guess what the uptake will be in this area. At the moment NBNCo are forcing it to be precisely nil.]

    Another poster replied: if I had the cable 10 metres from my door, I would be doing backflips, even if it was going to take a while for the rest.

    Original contributor:
    [It may as well be 1000 kms away for all the good it does me. There are around 4,000 premises in this rollout area which are supposedly active.

    None of them, and I mean none, can get a date for a connection. All ISP’s including Telstra and Optus are getting the same answer.

    NBNCo has NO capability for connecting anybody in this area, at all, according to themselves. As I said, a shambles. Profound incompetence.]

    What do you think is going on? Especially given Malcolm Turnbull's propensity for telling people who demand an NBN connection they should have bought a property in an NBN-rollout area.
    Gipps
  • Speed.

    So Labor's NBN has picked up speed? Well done Labor!
    colonel.mattyman
  • Grazie

    Thanks Chris.
    Very Informative
    cabidas
  • My problem is...

    ... I don't believe any of the stats NBN Co produce now. Turnbull and Ziggy have introduced enough doubt with plenty of stories of including old data to boost up the numbers that I have no idea if these numbers are Kosher or not.
    The Guv
  • Definitional change of Brownfields passed?

    Was there a definitional change in the brownfields passed and service class 0 from last weeek to this week? For instance, did they now include HFC or FTTN services that had previously not been counted as "Fixed brownfields"? Worth checking.

    The NBNCo plan had always been to fine tune single local tasks and then ramp up. If this is now happening, then the plain reading of your article shows that the universal urban FTTP project is eminently doable on its original basis, notwithstanding token "trials" of FTTN by iiNet, NBNCo or Telstra.
    umbria
  • What a rubbish.

    NBN finished rollout past my premises August 2013
    No2, April 2014 after many many appointments of crews to install and connect, after many cancellations of appointments without notifications, having finally installed the NBN Connection box last month, no one to be able to contact to do the final install.
    That is 8 months after rollout completed and tested.
    Still no one to be seen to connect me!
    How good is that.
    chris64-8a5e7
  • I wonder

    I understand there have been quite a Number of NBN personnel leaving since it was obvious M.T and his mates would be running the show, leaving the seagulls to deliver.

    Guess the back stabbers that were leaking to the media got the roles they wanted and can't do the job
    Abel Adamski
  • What a Difference

    When Telstra co operates and contributes rather than hinders and sabotages. Suddenly remediation issues and asbestos issues cease to be a problem as they roll out the established fans as per previous teams foundation work as it should have been.

    Who would have thunk it
    Abel Adamski
  • Modified Rapture

    It's certainly nice to read a good news story about NBN. However NBNCo's most recent corporate plan (Aug 2012) had a projected 1.1 million brownfield sites passed by June 2014, and a rate of around 80,000 homes per month. The latest figures - the best ever - still fall short of that target by a factor of two. The watered down targets will be met, but they mean nothing.

    Meanwhile I keep getting reminded why we need broadband much faster than the modest rates being touted by the current government. If they think that 25 to 50 Mbit/s will be fast enough in a few years time they are simply not studying history. It's not that long ago that I got my first broadband connection - 512 Kbit/s! After a couple of years that was upgraded to 2 Mbit/s, and then to ADSL2+, which in my area tops out at about 8 Mbit/s. That's a foctor of 16 times faster and it's still not enough. Recently I bought and downloaded a piece of software - 2.3 Gbytes! CD quality music downloads used to be about 700 Mbytes for an hour's music, but now I want high definition audio which can be up to 4 Gbytes per hour of music. It's a similar story with films: we expect higher standards which means greater bandwidth. Anyone who thinks this trend is not going to continue has their head in the sand. Malcolm Turnbull are you listening?
    Achilles-9158f
  • NBN Rollout

    Really unsure where they get their info from. Still waiting in Brunswick West 3BRU-07
    Daran4811
  • I'm over it

    By the time this government is up for re-election it will be plainly obvious how much of an inappropriate a solution to a service requirement that grows at such an astonishing rate every year.

    I support many SMB connections and I can tell you the copper infrastructure is in such a state that new lines need to be sought every year or so. It causes huge losses with business productivity not to mention the confidence lost with respect to there clients but then turny wants us to make use of cloud services run by his mates.

    What upsets me is we are all paying for a patchwork quilt solution that will not serve all our needs, sure it will work for some however....

    Let's say you son or daughter gets this great idea for a business that requires a fast reliable connection (UP an Down) to provide a service, the only option will be to hand it over to a international cloud service to be competitive, thus once again taking our dollar over seas

    22 MB at best! with games like battlefield4 reaching well over 20 Gig, how will this so called nbn do us into the future from even a retail perspective.

    Fraud-band is the right term to describe the new nbn
    Struth63