Tuesday, 12 November 2019 10:09

NBN Co lost another $1.1b in 1Q 2020, ARPU still at $45 Featured

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NBN Co lost another $1.1b in 1Q 2020, ARPU still at $45 Pixabay

Another day, another set of quarterly results from the NBN Co, the company rolling out Australia's broadband network, but little change from earlier quarters. For the first quarter of FY 2020, the company said on Tuesday it had recorded losses of $1.18 billion, compared to $875 million a year earlier.

Revenue reached $876 million, an increase of 41% on the corresponding quarter a year ago.

The average revenue per user, a stat that bothers the company a great deal, stayed at $45, well short of the $52 that it needs to achieve in order to break even. This is down from the $46 achieved for FY2019 though NBN Co did not mention this, preferring instead to say that the $45 represented a rise of $2 from 1Q 2019.

nbnco 1q 2020

The company said that 10.2 million premises were ready to connect by the end of the quarter while six million had already connected.

The rollout is scheduled to end next year but as residents are given 18 months to connect from the time their premises are certified as ready to do so, the whole rollout is likely to be wound up only sometime in 2022 or even a year later.

NBN Co chief executive Stephen Rue said: “We remain on track to complete the volume rollout of the network by 30 June 20204. When we reach this important milestone next year, ubiquitous, high-speed broadband will be available across this vast nation.

“During this quarter, around 40,000 Australian homes and businesses started experiencing the benefits of high-speed, secure and resilient nbn services every single week, and while we know we have much more to do in collaboration with the industry to improve customer experience, it’s pleasing to see that our overall customer satisfaction scores are improving."

nbn second

Installation costs per premises increased for fibre to the node, rising from $2246 a year ago to $2313 for the current quarter. Costs for fibre to the curb, a recent addition to the NBN Co's technology offerings, rose from $3129 in the final quarter of 2019 to $3198 for this quarter.

HFC costs also rose, from $2433 in the first quarter a year ago to $2658 for 1Q 2020. Fixed wireless went up from $3784 to $4280.

Said Rue: “We’ll continue in our steadfast commitment to make high-speed broadband accessible to all Australians. As a result of the considerable investment we’re making in the network and the significant wholesale discounts and additional data inclusions we plan to introduce in the coming months, in conjunction with our retail partners, we will continue to enhance our high-speed broadband offering to customers.

“Working closely with our retail and delivery partners we will help to offer the best possible experience to our valued customers, lift the digital capability of Australia, and deliver enhanced social and economic outcomes for Australians.”

In a statement, Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said: “This strong start to the fiscal year has seen nearly 500,000 premises activated in the three months to 30 September, an increase of 38% since the 2018-19 first quarter.

"This has pushed the total number of connected premises well over the 6 million mark, with more than 10.2 million homes and businesses now able to connect to the network.”

Finance Minister Matthias Cormann said: “NBN Co continues to deliver strong financial results in line with its performance benchmarks in its 2020-23 Corporate Plan, with total revenue up compared to the first quarter of 2018-19 and business revenue of $149 million also up from $102 million in the same period last year."

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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