80% of new NBN customers opting for faster plans

80% of new NBN customers opting for faster plans

Overall, NBN Co has 70 per cent of its customers connected to plans on speed tiers of 50 Mbps and above

NBN Co CEO Stephen Rue

NBN Co CEO Stephen Rue

Credit: NBN Co

NBN Co has seen sustained demand for its higher speed tiers, with approximately four out of five new customers to the National Broadband Network (NBN) opting for speeds of at least 50 Mbps. 

Overall, the network builder saw over 70 per cent of its customers connected to plans based on NBN wholesale download speed tiers of 50 Mbps and above by the end of 30 September, according to NBN Co CEO Stephen Rue. 

By comparison, this is up from 69 per cent as of June 30 and 66 per cent from a year ago

“We have maintained our strong focus on network performance, reliability and accessibility – and we continue to see strong, sustained demand for NBN’s higher speed tiers," Rue said. 

“Demand for higher speed broadband services will accelerate in the years ahead as more people connect more devices within their homes, which inevitably requires faster download and upload speeds and greater capacity to be built into the network.  

“As we have always stated, we will continue to invest in the NBN as a critical piece of infrastructure that will deliver social and economic benefits now, and in the future.”    

As for its network as a whole, NBN Co added 388,000 residential and business premises to the NBN during the three months to 30 September, reaching 7.66 million premises connected to the network.

Furthermore, 84,000 premises were made ready to connect during the same period, bringing the total number of ready to connect premises up to 11.82 million. 

The figures come as NBN Co announced its financial results for the first quarter of FY21 ending 30 September, which saw total revenue reach $1.07 billion, an increase of 22 per cent on the previous quarter last year. 

This also puts it on track to reach its FY21 revenue target of $4.5 billion, eclipsing that of FY20’s $3.8 billion  and FY19’s $2.8 billion

“Revenue growth is tracking ahead of forecast and we continue to service high levels of demand for new connections with around 30,000 residential and business premises connected to the network every week, on average,” Rue said. 

The network builder’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose to a positive $102 million, up from the loss of $435 million seen this quarter last year. 

Before subscriber costs, NBN Co saw an EBITDA of $571 million, a 61 per cent increase year-on-year, with about $469 million of this paid in total combined subscriber costs to Telstra and Optus. 

The network builder’s Q1 results follow a swathe of measures focusing on upgrading the NBN following the end of its FY20. 

This includes extending its fibre-to-the-premise (FTTP) network to an additional 100,000 homes and $700 million in funding for the establishment of 240 Business Fibre Zones.    

It also plans to bolster the NBN with a $3.5 billion investment, including 'on demand' fibre upgrades to existing fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) connections

Various capacity-related measures were also introduced during this time. This included three extensions of its additional data capacity offer during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is set to be replaced with discounts and rebates for higher speed plans

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