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Too early for NBN pricing plans: TPG

It's too early to reveal commercial pricing for plans on the National Broadband Network, according to Australian internet service provider TPG.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

It's too early to reveal commercial pricing for plans on the National Broadband Network (NBN), according to Australian internet service provider (ISP) TPG.

iiNet yesterday joined rival telcos Internode and Exetel in unveiling pricing for services on the NBN, with chief regulatory officer Steve Dalby saying that he expected ISPs like Dodo or TPG to potentially undercut iiNet on pricing, but not Telstra or Optus. TPG, however, was not yet ready to announce NBN plan prices.

"At this time, TPG does not wish to make available pricing for NBN-enabled plans," TPG told ZDNet Australia this morning. "We believe it is too early in the cycle, and will do so when we feel it is appropriate."

The company has today reported a 40 per cent increase in net profits for the financial year ending 31 July 2011, rising to $78.2 million from $55.7 million the previous year.

TPG saw a 13 per cent growth in revenue to $574.5 million in the last financial year to achieve that profit; its earnings before tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was also up 37 per cent to $234 million. The rise in net profit could be, in part, due to lower capital expenditure costs for the company, which sunk from $68.2 million in the previous year to $43.4 million this year.

The ISP added 59,000 new broadband subscribers in the last financial year, bringing its broadband users to a total number of 548,000. This rise was driven by a growth in the company's on-net bundles, which now account for 107,000 of the company's customer base. By comparison, the total number of on-net-only customers decreased from 349,000 to 328,000 in the last year, while off-net customers dropped from 131,000 to 113,000.

TPG's mobile subscribers remained stable at 201,000 over the full financial year. A growth of 36,000 new TPG mobile customers was offset by a loss of 36,000 Soul Mobile customers.

The company's dark fibre provider subsidiary Pipe Networks also experienced strong growth, contributing $57.2 million to the total EBITDA. Pipe Network's capacity reached 33 per cent utilisation, up from 29 per cent in the last financial year. TPG warned, however, that this number may drop as it deploys new capacity, rolling out around 900km of dark fibre between Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria as part of Vodafone's 3G backhaul upgrades.

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