NBN Co has exceeded its corporate plan target of starting or completing fibre network construction for 758,000 homes and businesses by the end of 2012.
The network builder today said that construction "commenced or completed" for 784,592 premises by December 31, 2012, which is 26,592 or 3.5 percent above its forecast level.
It had hoped to reach a targeted 758,000 premises, a much quoted figure from its corporate plan (pdf).
Acting communications minister Kim Carr said that exceeding the 758,000 target "is just the beginning.
"The ramp up of NBN construction activity will continue in 2013, with more workers hauling fibre, more areas switching on the NBN, and more families and businesses connecting," he said.
NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley said the result was "a clear indication that the NBN project is ramping up to full volume rollout".
He said that the combined project team of NBN personnel and contract partners had now "established settings to reach the peak rollout target of passing over 6000 premises a day by 2015".
Quigley said the next focus for the company was reaching its June 2013 target of 286,000 premises passed.
The "commenced or completed" statistic has been a source of contention in political circles, with opposition communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull branding it a "nonsense figure" in an ABC PM interview late last year.
Turnbull told the program that only "two metrics ... are really relevant".
"The most relevant one is obviously premises where you have an active service, where ... you've got a customer that's paying you good money for that service," he said.
"The second one is what they describe as premises passed, which is when the fibre is going past a premise ... and if the occupant rings up and says 'I'd like a service', they can send a nice person around with a van within a day or two to connect it."