NBN Co CEO bullish on network's progress

NBN Co CEO Bill Morrow this morning said he was "incredibly excited" by the government-owned company's half-year results.

The company announced a doubling of both the number of serviceable premises and premises activated to more than 749,000 and 322,000, respectively, as of 31 December, compared to 31 December 2013.

As of the end of the 2014 calendar year, the company had 40,716 premises connected via satellite, 27,792 using fixed wireless and 253,883 on fibre (compared to 44,170, 6512 and 80,077, respectively, for the end of 2013).

The company's revenue from retail service providers offering services on the National Broadband Network has tripled to $64 million, the CEO said. The company reported revenue of $22 million in the six months to 31 December 2013.

Average revenue per user also increased to $39 from $36.

Overall the company report a net loss after tax of $902 million for the half year.

During the half-year the company reported on today, NBN Co finished re-negotiating its mammoth $11 billion deal with Telstra. As part of the shift to a 'multi-technology mix' for the NBN rollout, NBN Co will take ownership of elements of Telstra's copper network in order to roll out fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) services.

The company also successfully negotiated the progressive transfer of ownership of Telstra's and Optus's hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC) networks. FTTN, HFC and fibre-to-the-basement (FTTB) will comprise the majority of the new-look NBN.

"With these agreements concluded, we can now start to access the facilities, we can start to access some of the data, that we need to be able to do the next stage of the build," Morrow said.

The CEO said the company was on track to achieve its 2020 goal of connecting 8 million premises to the NBN and achieving annual revenue in excess of $4 billion.

Morrow said NBN Co's results reflect "much more of a greater RSP engagement than we've ever seen in the past".

"I think we have hit a tipping point to where this is going to drive... much faster in the past," the CEO said, noting that a number of new RSPs, including Foxtel, have signed up to sell services on the NBN.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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