Australia’s NBN to complete wholesale access network in June 2020

Andy Penn Telstra.jpg

Australia’s wholesale, equal-access broadband network has increased revenue 43% as it says it is on schedule to complete build-out in June 2020.

The state-owned National Broadband Network (NBN) has built 85% of its access network, it said today, and it is “on schedule to complete the build by 30 June 2020”.

NBN Co CEO Stephen Rue said that in the last financial year “we’ve welcomed 1.5 million new customers to the NBN”.

He added: “I am pleased to confirm that the construction of the NBN access network – the largest infrastructure project ever undertaken in Australia – is on track and remains on schedule for completion by 30 June 2020.”

Meanwhile Telstra said today that the NBN was the reason its total income had fallen 3.6% in the financial year and EBITDA had fallen 21.7%. Telstra CEO Andy Penn (pictured) said: “Notwithstanding the intense competitive environment and the challenging structural dynamics of our industry, it is a year in which I believe we can start to see the turning point in the fortunes of the company from the changes we have embraced.”

At the same time Australian technology publication iTnews said Optus, the rival network, owned by Singtel, had shifted over 100,000 premises off NBN’s 12Mbps services because of price changes. “Optus is incurring millions of dollars in excess bandwidth charges every month to keep servicing a legacy base of 12Mbps users on the NBN,” said iTnews.

NBN Co’s Rue said: “As we turn towards the next phase of the company, we know that we have more work to do to improve the experience of our customers – from meeting service performance expectations when they are connected, to improving their everyday experience, to ensuring any issues are resolved promptly. We’re working hard to improve, and we’re also collaborating with our delivery partners and all retail service providers (RSPs) to improve every aspect of the residential and business customer experience.”

He added: “As NBN Co approaches the final stages of network construction, we’re strengthening our focus on becoming a full-scale service delivery organisation, bringing into sharper focus the needs and expectations of our customers.”

Telstra’s Penn said: “We had good momentum in our cost reductions programme, reducing underlying costs by $A456 million [US $308 million] in the year, which means we have achieved $1.17 billion [US $792 million] in reductions since FY16 and are on track to achieve our $2.5 billion [US $1.69 billion] net cost reduction target by FY22.”