Tuesday, 07 May 2019 04:52

No fanfare as NBN Co reports 3Q revenue rise of 45%, mounting losses Featured

NBN Co chief executive Stephen Rue. NBN Co chief executive Stephen Rue.

The NBN Co has quietly released its third-quarter results for the 2018-19 financial year, showing a growth of 45% in revenue to $2.0 billion year-on-year, but still continuing to bleed red ink with a loss of $2.7 billion for the financial year so far. This takes the accumulated losses to $20.7 billion over the lifespan of the company.

The loss for the third quarter alone was $995 million, up from a figure of $937 million for the corresponding quarter a year ago.

The average revenue per user was still stuck on $45 for the quarter, the same figure as reported for the second quarter of 2018-19. The NBN Co has said on many occasions that it needs to bring this figure up to $52 if it is to break even.

The announcement, on Monday, was not accompanied by any quotes from chief executive Stephen Rue as is the usual case. Instead, the company issued a very brief media release.

The company said the number of premises ready to connect to the NBN network was now 8.8 million.

A total of 5.1 million had taken up NBN services, NBN Co said, adding that it had made 7000,000 premises ready to connect and activated about 400,000 during the three months that ended on 31 March.

nbn 3q

Over the last 12 months, 1.3 million premises took up NBN connections.

During the quarter, the take-up of 50/20Mbps plans was over the halfway mark, with 51% opting for this speed tier. The 25/5Mbps plans were taken up by a fifth of new subscribers while the top tier, 100/40Mbps attracted only 9%.

The cost of connecting premises went up for most technologies with the cost of brownfields fibre connections rising from $4396 to $4401 year-on-year while and HFC costs went up from $2404 to $2498 year-on-year.

This was also the case for fixed wireless, with the connection cost rising from $3698 to $3811 year-on-year. The lowest increase was for fibre-to-the-node connections which cost $2265 during this quarter, compared to $2225 during the corresponding quarter in the 2017-18 financial year.

Fibre-to-the-curb connections, which were introduced recently and only recorded during this quarter, cost $3089 each. The only technology which showed reduced connection costs year-on-year was FttP greenfields connections which dropped marginally, from $2263 to $2196.

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Sam Varghese

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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