NBN defends rollout pace, doubles December output and grows revenue

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NBN defends rollout pace, doubles December output and grows revenue

NBN has reassured that its network rollout is still on track to reach the half-way milestone in 2017, which is to have 8 million homes and business activated by 2020.

The organisation copped criticism last month when it claimed that the network was nearly 50 percent completed. While there are currently 3.8 million premises ready for service, only 1.6 million of those are currently activated.

NBN said it would continue to ramp up the speed of the network deployment to reach its goal of 5.4 million services ready by 30 June. There were 129 percent more readied services now than the same time last year. There were also just over 900,000 were activated in 2016.

NBN chief executive Bill Morrow said: "Take up of services over the NBN network is growing, as is average data use per home, meaning that each week thousands more Australians are seeing the benefits of fast broadband via the NBN network."

"With a robust balance sheet clearly being built, NBN is on track to invest in future upgrade paths as demand requires."

According to NBN's half year presentation, 80 percent of Australia is either "in design, construction or already eligible" for NBN service.

The December weekly run rate of new premises made ready for service grew to approximately 48,000 on a 12-week rolling average basis. The December 2015 figure was 21,000. In terms of connections, the December 2016 weekly run rate was approximately 20,000, a doubling of output in comparison to the same time a year ago.

NBN has been training its retailers and refining the processes to ensure efficiency in ordering and installation of services to end users.

"Already we are seeing more end users purchasing plans from retailers, based on the 100Mbps wholesale speed tier. NBN experienced the greatest incremental growth in this speed tier in the December quarter," Morrow added.

NBN has posted $403 million in revenue for the first half of its 2017 financial year, ending 31 December 2016.

This represents a 146 percent growth in revenue from the $164 million earned during the same period the previous year.

"Growing penetration is driving encouraging revenue growth. In the past six months, NBN recorded revenue close to the total achieved in the entire fiscal 2016 year," Morrow said.

Last week, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission revealed the number of NBN services using wholesale hybrid fibre co-axial technology and long-term satellite services.

The report showed that NBN was supplying 1.7 million wholesale access services by the end of December, an increase of 316,000, since the previous quarter.

According to the report, there were 54,829 long-term satellite services during the period. Australian Private Networks has the biggest market share with 22,225 services, followed by SkyMesh with 13,364.

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