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nbn lifts run rate, revenues

nbn has reported significant improvements against key performance measures in results announced earlier this month. 

nbn released its half yearly results on 5 February. They revealed strong growth in connections, activations and in revenues for the 12 months up to 31 December, with the number of actual nbn customers growing 128% to a total of 736,000. 

Revenues grew even more quickly, increasing by 152% over the same period, with the rise reflecting not only the growth in activations but also a growth in Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) as customers take up video and streaming services. 

The growth in activations in part reflects improvement in the percentage of premises passed that are actually Ready For Service (RFS). 

As E-bulletin readers may recall, in the earlier phases of the roll-out pressures to reach “premises passed” targets saw a large number of premises passed but not actually connected to the network. nbn has now made the connection of these premises a priority. 

But meeting connection targets will of course also be easier as the FTTN and HFC platforms are rolled-out.   FTTN was launched 21 September 2015 and has already achieved 123.5k premises RFS by 31 Dec 15, with some 34k more added in January. A sharp acceleration of these connections and related growth in revenues can be expected in the coming 12-18 months.

Whether such growth will make the nbn business any more secure is another question. 

nbn’s business case continues to assume that only 15% of households with be mobile only by 2020. But as analysts have pointed out, the growth in mobile capabilities and the decline in mobile prices continue to pose a major challenge to these projections and to assumptions about nbn utilisation levels more generally. 

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