NBN Co sees less than one percent of area switches built

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NBN Co sees less than one percent of area switches built

Low conversion rate revealed in new numbers.

Less than one percent of areas that explore a mass upgrade of their last-mile NBN access technology actually go through with it, according to new figures released by NBN Co.

The network builder told the NBN joint committee that 358 “area switch” applications had been received by NBN Co since July 2012.

That figure is notable because of its size: NBN Co has previously only revealed low double digit numbers for the amount of area switches being sought.

An area switch is one of two options available to people unhappy with the type of connection they have been given under the NBN.

It is mostly characterised as an option for councils to improve connectivity of constituents in a given area, such as part of a town or a multi-dwelling unit (MDU).

NBN Co said of the 358 applications it had received over the years, it had supplied cost estimates for the upgrade in 90 cases.

However, only two sites are currently in service and a third site is designated as being under construction - under one percent of all applications received.

Two of the sites - most likely the ones that are live - have been known since early 2017. They are both areas that are paying to upgrade to the top access technology, fibre to the premises (FTTP).

A small increase in those numbers is possible, with 15 applications still listed as “in flight”.

Applications for area switches were known to have risen as NBN Co deployed a greater amount of fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) connections, though the amount of applications has not necessarily resulted in any more switches.

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