Australian NBN claims deployment boost under Morrow

Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) looks to have turned a corner in terms of deployment, claiming a fourfold increase in the number of premises covered by its fixed wireless service over the past year.

Under the leadership of Bill Morrow, ex-CEO of Vodafone Australia, appointed CEO at NBN Co at the start of this year, the company is finally improving its image after the national wholesale network rollout was hit by multiple delays for various reasons. Australian communications minister Malcolm Turnbull was previously critical of the NBN board in complaining that none of its members had any previous telco experience and that they did not do enough to rein in network costs and correct the mistakes that were being made. He ultimately called for the board to tender resignations, resulting in the appointment of Morrow.

Now the company claims that in a boost to the availability of broadband in the bush, over 106,000 homes, farms and businesses are now covered by service.

The figure includes 20,000 premises in rural and regional areas across the country where the NBN is newly available, including Humpty Doo, Northern Territory and parts of the Mid North Coast, NSW.

Over the same period there has also been a sevenfold increase in the number of families and businesses using the service – rising from 1,870 premises a year ago to 16,000 premises today. The sharp increase in users coincides with the addition to the fixed wireless product suite a year ago of the higher 25Mbps wholesale speed tier.

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NBN Co Chief Operating Officer, Greg Adcock said: “It’s clear from these figures that people outside the major cities want better broadband. We’ve put a significant focus on accelerating rollout of NBN Co’s fixed wireless service to rural and regional Australia. That allows people in these communities to take advantage of the economic and social opportunities that the rest of the country takes for granted.”

Last week, Telstra and NBN Co reached an agreement to pilot the planning, design and construction of 1000 nodes across Queensland and New South Wales, ahead of an anticipated large scale integration of Fibre-to-the-Node (FTTN) technology into the National Broadband Network (NBN).

The deal is thought to be worth in the region of A$150m and will connect around 200,000 homes and businesses by marrying fibre optic cables with Telstra’s copper lines in a streetside node cabinet to deliver fast broadband.



One comment

  1. Avatar John 01/07/2014 @ 11:30 pm

    It has zero to do with Morrow and the run rate has not improved from what was forecast 12 months ago. The saving of this is because now Telstra are engaged in delivering connections which will boost the connects.

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