NBN Co reaffirms 2020 completion

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NBN Co reaffirms 2020 completion

According to NBN Co's latest corporate plan, the network rollout is still on track for completion in 2020.

The NBN rollout continues to advance, with 99 percent of the network footprint in the design or construction stages or already completed.

By the end of the 2019 financial year another 2.7 million premises will be Ready to Connect - with the restarting of HFC sales presumably a major contributor - followed by another 1.9 million in the 2020 financial year, giving 11.7 million premises Ready to Connect and 8.1 million with active services.

Of these, 1.4 million connections are expected to be fibre to the curb (FTTC), making the NBN one of the world's first deployments of this technology at scale.

Actual takeup always lags behind construction, and so by the end of the 2022 financial year NBN expects to be delivering services to 8.7 million premises. By that time NBN Co predicts its average revenue per user - a key indicator for telcos - will have increased from $44 to $51. The company has had a long-term target of $52.

That increase is based on estimates of the number of customers selecting higher-speed plans (45 percent of customers are now on 50Mbps or faster plans, up from 16 percent a year earlier), increased data consumption, and growth in SMEs using NBN services.

When the NBN is complete, 90 percent of the fixed line network will be able to achieve wholesale download rates of at least 50Mbps, according the company.

As foreshadowed in February, NBN Co is planning to upgrade its fixed wireless network. The corporate plan shows that will be a $1 billion investment.

Progress is being made in other respects, according to NBN Co. Average network congestion has fallen from more than five hours a week to less than 30 minutes, and installation and fault restoration times have improved. 92 percent of installations are now "right first time" (up from 87 percent), while 90 percent of faults are resolved within agreed timeframes (up from 70 percent).

"NBN Co is undergoing a significant period as we work to complete the build, improve customer experience and position our business for the future. The Corporate Plan 2019-22 is our blueprint for how we will navigate the complexity and deliver on our goals to provide affordable access to all Australians by 2020," said newly appointed NBN Co CEO Stephen Rue.

"We know the network is already having a significant impact on the lives of Australians and the economy, helping to drive the growth of new businesses, industry productivity, jobs, educational opportunities and access to healthcare options.

"There will inevitably be challenges in the remainder of the build - some known, some new. But our ability to deploy the network at speed and scale is evident, and we're well-positioned to continue enhancing customer experience and delivering access to the benefits of high-speed broadband to all Australians."

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