Australia’s National Broadband Network now has 5,035,072 premises that are ready for service (RFS). The pace of deployment was always planned to ramp up in the later stages of the project, but nbn are now adding 250,000 new potential connections every month. These numbers are impressive and that’s largely thanks to a switch to leverage existing infrastructure like HFC and FTTN as well as expanded satellites, avoiding the intensive capital works associated with rolling fibre everywhere.
With the hard work done to make high speed internet available 5 million places, it is somewhat surprising that we still have such a deficit in actual connected customers. In the latest weekly update report from nbn, there are 2,245,550 actual customers. You’ll notice this is less than half the potential paying customers.
This reflect a lot of confusion in the market about what nbn will offer people and there’s still some education required around the mandatory nature of migrating to the nbn. Much of the discussion on nbn over the past few years has been a political one, about the choice and approach of technology deployment. With the exception of a few TV commercials, there hasn’t been great work done on why people would want to, and need to switch.
The other side of the equation is connection problems. Its all well and good for nbn to say you can connect, but when you actually engage your Retail Service Provider, chances are, you’ll have so issues. Once you work through that, there’s enough reports of poor speed results, that would understandably scare some people away.
Whatever your position on the NBN, we all benefit with more customers using it, but more importantly paying for it. There’s an amazing array of RSPs who can sell you internet services on the NBN and of those are fighting for market share and with many people taking the opportunity to try someone different than the familiar teclco’s, Australia is facing a very diverse customer-base. Right now, those 2.24 million paying customers are spread across RSPs, but if that number were closer to 5 million, the cost per customer to deliver services should go down as the pie grows.
If you’re not yet on the NBN, then stop what you’re doing, head to http://www.nbnco.com.au and enter your address at the top of the screen to see if its available in your area. If it is, then you have 18 months to transition your phone and internet service to the NBN from the time service became available. Its likely you received a bunch of pamphlets in the mail from different providers pitching for your business. Do your research, or just go with the provider you have, but my recommendation is go month-to-month at first, so you can change providers if you’re not happy. The key is, do it, do it now.
As of the 25th of May 2017, the connections are as follows:
- Brownfields declared RFS – 3,736,961
- Browfields serviceable – 3,577,218
- Browfields – Premises at Service Class 0 or equivalent – 159,743
- Browfields – Premises Activated – 1,754,802
- Greenfields – Lots/Premises Passed – 377,040
- Greenfields – Premises Activated – 238,747
- Satellite – Premises Covered – 416,757
- Satellite – Premises Activated – 73,005
- Wireless – Premises Covered – 504,314
- Wireless – Premises Activated – 178,996
- Total Lots / Premises RFS – 5,035,072
- Premises Activated – 2,245,550