After 14 months of construction, NBN has 1,000 FttN customers

Minister for Communications Mitch Fifield has proudly announced that in 51 days, 1,000 customers have signed up to FttN services, far below the current activation run rate of around 8,000 a week on fibre.

The National Broadband Network (NBN) has connected its first 1,000 customers using fibre to the node (FttN), almost a full 14 months since NBN announced construction work would begin.

In October last year, NBN announced the first 140 suburbs that would be served using the new so-called multi-technology mix (MTM) rollout.

"The company today released a list of areas where work is under way to bring the NBN to more than 200,000 homes and businesses in parts of the Central Coast, Newcastle, and Lake Macquarie regions in New South Wales, as well as the Greater Brisbane, Moreton Bay, and Wide Bay Burnett regions in Queensland," NBN said in a statement at the time.

Minister for Communications Mitch Fifield has now said that 51 days after launching its FttN offering in late September, NBN now has 1,000 customers connected.

"When NBN launched its end-to-end fibre services five years ago under the Labor government, it took 15 months to connect the first 1,000 customers," he said.

"About 100 new users every day are switching over to the NBN's vectored VDSL broadband technology, which runs over the network and makes internet connections lightning fast."

Fifield said that Alcatel-Lucent has delivered over 4,700 nodes be used in the rollout next year, with 200 nodes a day being shipped to construction locations.

"From February 2016, NBN is aiming to expand its urban coverage area every month by between 60,000 and 100,000 premises," he said. "Under the Coalition's faster rollout plan, the NBN footprint will double every year for the next three years."

The latest rollout statistics provided by NBN show that in the time it has taken NBN to gain 1,000 FttN customers, over 80,000 brownfields customers have been connected to the network, and just shy of 14,000 greenfields fibre-to-the-premises customers.

Late last week, Shadow Communications Minister Jason Clare latched onto recent leaks out of NBN that the cost to replace or repair the copper network will be around AU$640 million, and that the Optus HFC network is not fit for purpose.

"Malcolm Turnbull is pretty agile, but he can't dodge responsibility for this. The NBN is rolling out slower than he promised, and it is going to cost a lot more than he promised," Clare said. "This is no one else's fault but his.

"The cost to fix up the old copper network is more than 10 times what Malcolm Turnbull said it would cost when he released the Strategic Review."

NBN said the costings in the documents were accounted for in its peak funding increase.

"Risks and mitigation plans for the network are outlined in the Corporate Plan, and the revised peak funding figure takes these scenarios into account. We have produced a peak funding range and provided a contingency as prudent measures to manage a project of this size and complexity," an NBN spokesperson told ZDNet at the time.

In August, NBN revealed that it would cost between AU$46 billion and AU$56 billion in peak funding to roll out its network.

The makeup of the MTM rollout is to cover 20 percent of the Australian population with fibre to the premises; 38 percent with fibre to the node and fibre to the building; 34 percent with hybrid fibre-coaxial; 5 percent with fixed wireless; and 3 percent with satellite services; however, the company this week announced a decision to move 40,000 premises from the satellite footprint onto its fixed-wireless or fixed-line networks.