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NBN: 35K Done, Millions More To Do

By Oonagh Reidy | Tuesday | 29/01/2013

A lot done, a lot, lot more to do: 34,500 on the NBN, over 3.49 million left to do...and that's just by 2015

The number of 'active' premises hooked up to the National Broadband Network - both homes and businesses - was 34,500 by December last, new figures show.

Of these, 10,400 or less than one third, were connected via fibre in Brownfield and new Greenfield sites. The rest were connected via satellite and fixed wireless services.

Even though this marked an increase just over 20,000 in the number of 'active' premises in six months June-December last, NBN Co hope to treble this number to over 90K by end of June next.

But NBN Co would also want to hurry up if it wants to meet its lofty corporate target of passing 286,000 Brownfield sites and activating 44,000 in the next five months.

The NBN fibre cabling has currently 'passed' 46,100 Brownfield and 26,300 Greenfield sites but the service is not yet activated, meaning it hopes to pass 240K more Brownfields alone with fibre by June 30 - a massive jump, despite passing just 17K between June-Dec last.

However, NBN Co's greenfield targets are a little less ambitious as it hopes to 'pass' almost 29K new sites by June end.

In total, it hopes to have 661,000 premises/ lots passed (incl. 320K via satallite) by the end of June and activated 91,700 in next five months.

But NBN Co CEO, Mike Quigley, has promised a "a rapid ramp-up" of the $42 bn project.

"The results reflect progress in the early stages of the rollout, and are what we would expect given the time and work necessary to put in place the contracts and agreements needed to get to this point of execution.

"This rollout is not a linear progression, but a rapid ramp-up" and Quigley said additional construction resources will be added over the coming months to help achieve these targets.

 "We are targeting to pass more premises in the final quarter of the financial year than we will have passed in the entire project up to the beginning of that quarter. " 

By the end of 2015, more than 3.5 million homes and businesses across Australia are planned to have construction commenced or completed, according to NBN Co, and there is a very long way to go until it meets its target of 93% of the Aussie population.

But stll, it has until 2021 to do so.

NBN Co will also continue to "work very closely" with its construction partners - Syntheo, Transfield, Silcar and Visionstream (Tas) - to deliver the June 2013 targets, CEO Quigley said today.

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