NBN Co passes low-balled premises passed target

NBN Co has surpassed its lowered target for existing premises passed by fibre as of June 30 almost a month ahead of schedule.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

The latest weekly summary from NBN Co shows the company has beaten its June 30 target for brownfield premises passed a month ahead of schedule, as the company annouces the return of construction information to the rollout maps.

Following the election of the Coalition government in September 2013, NBN Co conducted a strategic review that revised down the number of existing houses and businesses it was expected to pass from 450,000 down to 357,000 premises by the end of June 30.

At the time, NBN Co chairman Ziggy Switkowski said that NBN Co based this figure on what it expected the industry to actually achieve in that time.

ZDNet's analysis in January showed that NBN Co's run rate over the six months to the end of January indicated the company would easily surpass this goal before the June 30 deadline, and according to the latest weekly rollout summary, NBN Co beat its target as of June 1, passing 363,542 brownfields premises.

There won't be champagne popping at NBN Co, however, as it is understood that the company is more intently focused on ensuring those premises can order a service on the NBN. Currently 98,072 of those premises cannot order a service.

The network now passes 104,585 new premises, and in total, there are 136,728 premises on the NBN fibre using services. Including fixed wireless and interim satellite customers, there are 195,077 NBN customers online today.

The milestone comes as the company today announced it was changing the information included on its rollout map website to now show areas where contractors in brownfields areas are readying Telstra's pits and pipes for installing the fibre to the premises network. These locations will be marked in green.

NBN Co's chief operating officer Greg Adcock said that the information was able to be brought back into NBN Co's rollout maps after the company stripped the maps late last year because the company had more confidence in what it was reporting to the public.

"We are stabilising the NBN rollout and have reviewed the underlying data. That gives us the confidence to be able to provide greater clarity about work underway across Australia," he said in a statement.

"The new measure lets families and businesses know earlier on in the rollout process that the NBN is coming so they can start exploring how they might take advantage of high-speed broadband."

There are currently 167,000 premises that NBN Co now states are in "build preparation", with contracts issued for a further 290,000 brownfields premises.

NBN Co confirmed to ZDNet that these premises will receive fibre to the premises or fibre to the building/basement as NBN Co cannot currently access either Telstra's copper lines or the hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) networks — owned by Telstra and Optus — as part of its "multi-technology mix" model until negotiations have been completed.

The FttB premises will likely be part of the rollout when NBN Co develops its FttB product later this year.

Update June 6, 2014 : NBN Co originally advised ZDNet that the new premises would all be connected via FttP, but subsequently corrected this to say that some premises may be covered by FttB.

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