NBN Co has started providing its retail service providers with data on when premises in connection limbo are expected to be switched onto the network.
CEO Bill Morrow used a senate estimates hearing late last week to reveal the limited release of the new dataset and potential plans to surface it publicly.
When NBN build crews enter an area, some premises are found to require additional work and are labelled as 'passed' without being connected to the network.
These premises are classified as service class zero (SC0) for FTTP, or an equivalent classification for other access technologies - service class 10 (SC10) is for FTTN/B and service class 20 (SC20) is reserved for premises in HFC areas.
NBN Co has rebranded such premises as “not yet ready to connect” on its weekly statistical updates.
The number of such premises has rapidly increased this year. The biggest contributor to this is the HFC network, though NBN Co has made changes to its HFC rollout strategy to prevent the numbers from ballooning further.
NBN Co’s problems with micronode technology are also believed to be a factor.
The network builder has warned that the number of SC0 and equivalent premises will peak at around 400,000 this financial year. It currently sits at 337,170.
While all premises will ultimately get their NBN connection by the end of 2020, some SC0 and equivalent premises could wait years for their service.
NBN Co had some good news for residents in premises classed as SC0 or equivalent: the company will make it easier to find out approximately when their connection to the NBN is due to be made.
“While we can’t make every single person ready to connect at the same time, we are doing our best to provide better information to those who might be later than others,” Morrow said.
“I’m very pleased to say that one of these improvements that we’ve been working on - which is now live - is offering a predicted date that the service class zero premises will be able to order a service.
“This will be available to RSPs so that when their customers ring up to order a service, the RSPs will be able to tell customers when they will be ready to connect.
“The same information will be available to end users via the NBN contact centre, and we’re looking at whether we can make this information available via the NBN website.”