NBN Co has revealed almost 1800 householders took retail services on its fibre network in the final five weeks of 2012, enabling the firm to surpass 10,000 active fibre connections on its network for the first time.
The figures are part of a long-awaited statement on the number of active connections on the NBN, which show that 34,500 premises had active fibre, fixed wireless or satellite services by the end of last year.
Of the 34,500 active connections, 10,400 are on fibre — 6600 in brownfields areas and 3800 in new estates; 1000 are on the fixed wireless network; and the remaining 23,100 are satellite users.
"The results reflect progress in the early stages of the rollout, and are what we would expect given the time and work necessary to put in place the contracts and agreements needed to get to this point of execution," NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley said.
The latest fibre optic take-up figure shows incremental growth in the Christmas period.
NBN Co had 3900 active fibre connections as at June 30, 2012.
By October 16, it reported having "just under 6400 fibre" users at a Senate Estimates Committee, revising the figure up to "more than" 7000 by the end of October, and to 8613 by November 23, according to parliamentary hansard records.
Between November 23 and the end of 2012, it added another 1787 users to its fibre ranks. That tipped NBN Co's active fibre connections number over 10,000 for the first time.
The second half of 2012 saw a major ramp-up of active fibre connections taken in new housing estates.
NBN Co saw active connections in new housing estates rise 660 percent in the six months to December 31, 2012, from 500 to 3800.
The company also almost doubled the number of active connections in built-up areas ("brownfield") over the same six-month period.
It went from having 3400 active "brownfield" customers at the end of June 2012 to 6600 by the end of December 2012, a 94 percent increase.
Fibre connections as a percentage of all active connections to the NBN remained stable at about 30 percent.
Over the air
Satellite continues to make up the largest percentage of the total NBN customer base.
By the end of 2012, NBN Co counted 23,100 active satellite connections, up from 9600 in just six months. The company has previously said about 9000 come from the defunct Australian Broadband Guarantee (ABG) program.
Satellite users account for 67 percent of all active services on the NBN. This is a slight dip on the previous six-month period, where satellite users made up 71 percent of all active connections.
NBN Co saw the number of active connections on its fixed wireless network climb from 100 at the end of June 2012 to 1000 by the end of 2012.
Read on for iTnews' analysis of the changing mix of active NBN connections.