NBN hits million-user milestone

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NBN hits million-user milestone

The NBN has passed one million active premises on its network, boasting Tuesday of more than doubling active users, connected premises and revenue for the 2016 financial year.

NBN Co's revenue reached $421 million for the 2016 financial year, compared to $164 million last year.

The result stemmed from a 126 percent jump in active users on the network from 485,615 last year to just under 1.1 million as at 30 June. NBN Co also more than doubled the number of premises connected to the network, from 1.2 million to 3 million as at this month.

It is looking to replicate that growth for its next fiscal year, targeting 2.3 million active and 5.4 million connected premises, and revenue of $900 million, at the end of the next 12 months.

NBN Co is claiming a current weekly run rate of 40,000 connections, which would need to be slightly improved to reach its connection goal.

Most of its current active end users (822,652) are on the fibre-to-the-premise network. Just under 120,000 active end users are on the fibre-to-the-node network that went live at the end of last year, and just 10 were on the budding hybrid-fibre coaxial network as at 30 June.

Around 117,000 end users are on the fixed wireless network, and the satellite network is servicing just under 39,000 users.

Average revenue per user across the network sat at $43 compared to $40 last year.

The most popular speed tier on the fixed-line NBN is 25Mbps down/5 Mbps up, which accounts for about half of active services. The 12/1Mbps tier comes in second with 32 percent of users, while the highest tier - 100/40Mbps - services around 14 percent of end users.

NBN Co's capital expenditure grew to $4.7 billion during the year, compared to $3.3 billion last year, as the rollout ramped up. The FTTN network represented the highest portion of that spend, with $1.7 billion.

NBN Co will receive its last lot of public money from the federal government at the end of the 2016-17 financial year.

The $8.8 billion will be the last payment under the government's $29.5 billion funding cap for the project, leaving NBN with a shortfall of between $16.5 billion and $26.5 billion which it is expected to seek from the private sector to complete the rollout.

NBN Co chief financial officer Stephen Rue on Tuesday declined to provide detail on the company's plans, saying only that other funding options were under evaluation.

Chief executive Bill Morrow said it was up to the government as to whether NBN Co went to the market for debt funding or whether the government would lend the business money. He said the Finance department was currently investigating options.

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