NBN seeing over 500,000 service faults annually from 5.5 million connections

Faults on the National Broadband Network are being logged at a rate of over 1,370 each and every day.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

The National Broadband Network (NBN) has revealed the extent to which it receives service faults, telling Senate Estimates via an answer to Questions on Notice that in the 2018-19 fiscal year, it received 501,600 service faults.

At June 30, the NBN had just over 5.5 million active services connected to its network.

NBN said the faults included incidents caused by "external factors" such as weather events, but did not break out the number.

Over the same time period, the number of calls made to NBN's call centre topped 386,000.

The company also broke down its active services at October 31 by technology. Of the 6.2 million active services, 877,000 were on brownfields fibre-to-the-premises, 473,000 had greenfields fibre-to-the-premises, 2.85 million received fibre-to-the-node/basement, 1.25 million had hybrid fibre-coaxial connections, and 353,000 used fibre-to-the-curb. Beyond fixed line connections, 296,000 premises had fixed wireless and 97,000 were connected via satellite.

Over the life of NBN to June 30, the company has spent AU$23.8 billion in capital expenditure on its network. That number is made up of AU$5.8 billion on fibre-to-the-premise, AU$7.1 billion on fibre-to-the-node/basement, AU$2.3 billion on fibre-to-the-curb, AU$4.6 billion on cable, AU$2.3 billion for fixed wireless, and AU$1.7 billion for satellite connectivity.

NBN added the total did not include expenditure on common assets or transit networks.

Looking at fixed wireless, NBN has made operational 2,198 of the 2,383 towers it expects will be needed for the fixed wireless footprint, with the average monthly download total on fixed wireless sitting at 140GB.

On the reduction of the number of fixed wireless premises in its 2020 corporate plan from 400,000 to 300,000, NBN said it was due to "an immaterial delta between plans (less than 20,000 premises)".

In its full year results handed down in August, NBN said its revenue was up 43% to AU$2.83 billion, and claimed positive adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation prior to payments to Telstra and Optus were taken into account.

Responding to Senate Estimates, NBN said it paid AU$6.2 billion to the telcos so far, and expects to hand over another AU$4 billion to bring the total to AU$10.2 billion.

Related Coverage

Editorial standards