NBN Co announced it has started rolling out upgrades to its fibre to the node (FTTN) network to fibre to the premises (FTTP) by the end of 2021, starting off with 100,000 eligible premises.
The network provider said it has identified some 1.1 million premises across Australia that will be eligible to get the upgrade and gain access to higher speed tiers. Some of the suburbs and localities chosen were revealed in May.
Hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC) connection upgrades are also “ahead of schedule”, with all 2.5 million premises now able to access wholesale download speed tiers of up to 250Mbps.
NBN Co announced last year that it would spend $3.5 billion to upgrade some FTTN, fibre to the curb, and HFC connections to full fibre. The upgrade is planned to be completed by 2023.
The announcement was part of NBN Co releasing its 2021 financial year results, and following the news of the network provider launching 44 new Business Fibre Zones for a total of 284 across the country.
NBN Co reported revenue of $4.6 billion for the year ended 30 June 2021, an increase of 21 percent year-on-year, driven by the addition of 933,000 residential and business connections in the past year.
EBITDA for the period was $1.35 billion, a $2 billion improvement over 2020, citing the revenue growth and a reduction in subscriber payments. Subscriber payments to Telstra and Optus were halved from $2.4 billion in FY20 to $1.2 billion.
Demand for ‘higher speed tiers’ remained strong, with 75 percent of customer retail plans based on wholesale download speed tiers of 50 Mbps and above. Those with plans of up to 100 Mbps and above account for 17 percent of residential customers, up from 9 percent in 2020.
“We are proud of the measures we have put in place to support the nation, and the balance we have achieved in delivering strong and sustainable operational and financial results,” NBN Co chief executive Stephen Rue said.
“This is what we believe is expected of us by our ultimate shareholders - every Australian taxpayer who has indirectly invested in the NBN network. Our financial discipline and the delivery of predictable financial and operational performance gives us a solid foundation for future investment as we work to improve and enhance our customers’ experience of the network.”