NBN Co is now projecting its average revenue per user (ARPU) for residential customers will be $49 by FY23.
The new number, revealed in today’s corporate plan, is the result of NBN Co splitting its revenue forecasts by business and residential users for the first time.
Until now, NBN Co has presented a “blended ARPU” - essentially the average revenue it expected to see from all users on its network.
Now, the company will release only a residential ARPU number.
In the last corporate plan, as it had done previously, NBN Co said its blended ARPU was “expected to grow from $44 to $51 in FY22”.
It now says that “residential ARPU is expected to grow from $44 in FY19 to $49 in FY23.”
CEO Stephen Rue told analysts this morning that “we don’t intend to break out business ARPU as we do not believe it is meaningful on a per-premises basis.”
"What we concluded was actually having an ARPU on a per-premises basis for business was increasingly a meaningless number, and a much much better number to give people visibility - and this is more transparent frankly - is to lay out the actual revenue from business," Rue said.
He told iTnews that the new residential-only number was in line with the previous trajectory that NBN Co had anticipated for residential.
"The growth in ARPU in residential is consistent with the underlying growth in ARPU we’ve had in previous corporate plans,” Rue said.
“It’s exactly the same trajectory, more or less, that we’ve had for several years.
“And again we see that the growth for residential ARPU will come from people choosing higher speed tiers and the ongoing data growth we’re seeing.
“We’re looking to work with the industry to make speed tiers above 100Mbps on more technologies available for customers to choose if they so wish. That’s why we think there will be ongoing growth in the next few years in residential ARPU.”
Most of NBN Co’s newer wholesale plans have a starting wholesale price of $45 a month.
Blended ARPU, reported earlier this month, was $46.
Actual revenue projections over forward years are less than previously expected.
In FY20, revenue is now expected to be $3.7 billion, down from $3.9 billion, while in FY21 revenue is anticipated to be $4.9 billion, down from $5.2 billion.
FY22 revenue is tipped to be steady at $5.6 billion, meaning NBN Co would be looking to FY23 to make up for previous shortfalls.
The lower revenue projections appear to be the result of slower than anticipated activations over the next couple of years, as well as an overall revision in the number of premises that NBN Co will serve in certain footprints.
More to come