NBN narrowly beats its own targets for 2019

Total number of premises ready to connect is 2.4% above target, while the amount of activated premises is less than 0.4% above target.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

The company responsible for deploying the National Broadband Network (NBN) across Australia has announced beating its own targets for the 2019 fiscal year.

However the margin with which it topped the targets it set for itself was quite narrow.

For premises ready to connect to the network, NBN reported 9.93 million against a target of 9.7 million. NBN also reported that 5.52 million premises have been activated on the network compared to its target of 5.5 million.

The company had previously planned to have 11 million premises ready to connect, and 6.9 million premises activated before revising its targets down.

In recent months, NBN has been returning premises caught up in its HFC pause back to the network, vastly reducing the number of premises labelled as service class zero.

According to the company's latest corporate plan, it intends to have 11.6 million premises ready to connect and 7.5 million premises activated by the end of the 2020 financial year.

Those targets would see NBN needing to connect another 1.9 million premises over the next year to complete the build, as well as needing to activate an extra 2 million.

Read also: Labor faces reality on NBN but the dream died long ago    

NBN forecast itself to have AU$2.6 billion in revenue and negative AU$1.7 billion in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) for FY2019.

In its third quarter results announced in May, NBN announced a 50% improvement across both revenue and earnings for the first nine months.

EBITDA improved by 15% to negative AU$331 million, and for the nine-month period by 54% to negative AU$808 million.

NBN's quarterly revenue was up by 42% to AU$740 million, and for the first nine months by 45% to just over AU$2 billion.

On Tuesday, Queensland officially established its government-owned fibre backhaul provider, FibreCo Queensland, which has been created to make use of extra capacity on the state's existing 6,000 kilometres of fibre cabling.

Minister for Small Business Shannon Fentiman said the network would be a win for small businesses.

"Internet is vital to small businesses, particularly in regional Queensland -- that's why we're establishing FibreCo to make best use of assets that are owned by the taxpayer," she said.

"There's no denying that the federal government's National Broadband Network has fallen short. We hope this initiative helps to pick up the slack." 

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