NBN Co's take-up rates soar

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NBN Co's take-up rates soar

Analysis: Big numbers, big growth in just five weeks.

Take-up rates across NBN Co's fibre network are soaring, with many rollout areas adding hundreds of users over the past five weeks.

In a Budget Estimates dominated by asbestos and antagonism, NBN Co provided an updated dataset of completed fibre serving area modules (FSAMs) and the percentage take-up for connections in each.

As with the previous dataset that was released on April 19, iTnews has run the figures to show exactly what the percentage growth means in terms of number of premises.

The latest data shows significant growth of active users in fibre rollout areas from Kingston Beach, George Town and Hobart in Tasmania, to Coffs Harbour in NSW and Gungahlin in the ACT.

Between the April 19 and May 30 iterations of the dataset, NBN Co has seen growth of 4087 active connections in its top 22 FSAMs, a 34 percent increase.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy referred to NBN Co's take-up rates as "world records" during the Estimates hearing.

Conroy said he believed retail service prices for fibre, compared to other fixed services, were behind the take-up rates, and he expected the entrance of more ISPs — such as TPG or Dodo – to spur further adoption.

Such growth also validates the active connection statistics in NBN Co's quietly-released March quarter rollout update (pdf). Active users in brownfields areas went from 6600 at the end of December 2012 to 11,300 at the end of March 2013. In the same period, active users in greenfields jumped from 3800 to 7500.

The following charts track growth in active connections on NBN Co's brownfields fibre network in percentage and premises terms.

Known FSAMs are divided by State/Territory. A separate section is provided for seven FSAMs for which take-up rates have been released for the first time.

Take-up by State/Territory

New South Wales

Kiama Downs/Minnamurra remains the rollout area with the highest proportion of active connections, at a shade under 65 percent.

The big mover in the state is Coffs Harbour, where user numbers are scaling up rapidly.

FSAM code Location  Total Premises Take-up Rate (April. 19) Retail connections (April. 19) Take-up Rate (May 30) Retail connections (May 30)
2KIA-01 Minnamurra 2400 57.7% 1385 64.4% 1546
2ARM-04 Armidale 2500 27.4% 685 38.7% 968
2ARM-01,02,03 Armidale 4800 28.2% 1354 34.1% 1637
2CFS-01 Coffs Harbour 2600 10.3% 268 25.5% 663
2ARM-05 Armidale 2700 12.4% 335 20.8% 562

 

Queensland

Townsville's first FSAM is nearing the halfway mark in terms of active connections.

FSAM code Location  Total Premises Take-up Rate (April. 19) Retail connections (April. 19) Take-up Rate (May 30) Retail connections (May 30)
4GUL-01 Townsville 2800 39.5% 1106 47.1% 1319

 

Victoria

All three of the listed FSAMs saw steady growth in active connections over the past five weeks.

FSAM code Location  Total Premises Take-up Rate (April. 19) Retail connections (April. 19) Take-up Rate (May 30) Retail connections (May 30)
3SMR-03 South Morang 2300 35.7% 821 40.9% 941
3BRU-01 Brunswick 2900 26.6% 771 32.5% 943
3SMR-02 South Morang 2600 8.3% 216 14.9% 387

 

Tasmania

A lot of numbers again this month from Tasmania, but one that will please NBN Co is the take-up rate in Hobart, where the number of active users more than doubled in the space of five weeks.

As we showed in our last run of the take-up numbers, there's no shortage of HOB-coded FSAMs in the pipeline. Five of the eight forthcoming ones are due to come online this year.

FSAM code Location  Total Premises Take-up Rate (April. 19) Retail connections (April. 19) Take-up Rate (May 30) Retail connections (May 30)
7KIN-01 Kingston 1000 37.4% 374 50.6% 506
7SOR-01 Sorell 1300 34.5% 449 44.7% 581
7SOR-02 Midway Point 1300 33.5% 436 43.6% 567
7GEW-01 George Town 2300 31.7% 729 41.5% 955
7DEL-01 Deloraine 1600 29.6% 474 40.8% 653
7TRA-01 Triabunna 500 28.7% 144 36.8% 184
7SCL-01 Scottsdale 1200 17.6% 211 27.5% 330
7SMO-01 Smithton 1700 15.7% 267 23.7% 403
7HOB-01 Hobart 2000 10.5% 210 22.7% 454
7STH-01 St Helens 2200 17.9% 394 21.3% 469

Read on for iTnews' analysis of the numbers for ACT, South Australia and new FSAMs.

ACT

Crace — which covers suburbs such as Gungahlin — is a major star of this month's take-up figures, particularly the -06 FSAM which more than doubled the number of active internet users in just five weeks.

The take-up rates provide encouragement that, if approved, NBN Co's acquisition of TransACT's fibre-to-the-premises network — which spans nearby suburbs — should substantially boost the company's overall take-up numbers.

FSAM code Location  Total Premises Take-up Rate (April. 19) Retail connections (April. 19) Take-up Rate (May 30) Retail connections (May 30)
9CRC-06 Crace 1600 15.9% 254 35.9% 574
9CRC-03 Crace 2500 13.9% 348 24.2% 605

 

South Australia

Back in April, the mainland first release site of Willunga was "broaching 60 percent".

It took just five weeks to get the numbers to surpass it, and remains the second highest rollout region anywhere on the fibre network in percentage terms for take-up.

FSAM code Location  Total Premises Take-up Rate (April. 19) Retail connections (April. 19) Take-up Rate (May 30) Retail connections (May 30)
5ALD-01 Willunga 1100 56.9% 626 63.4% 697

 

New areas

The numbers here are much smaller than in the more established FSAMs, but this represents the first disclosure of take-up rates in these rollout areas by NBN Co.

The Crace numbers here are particularly strong — 9CRC-01 has been accepting retail connections for just nine weeks, -05 for just eleven.

The take-up numbers are just the beginning, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy suggested.

"In [9CRC-01], more than 34 percent of houses in the footprint have ordered service in under two months," he said.

This would likely be reflected as active connections in the next dataset, whenever it gets released.

The Bacchus Marsh, Aspley and Toowoomba numbers are from 22 weeks' retail availability; Coffs Harbour from 11 weeks, and Armidale from 9 weeks.

FSAM code Location  Total Premises Take-up Rate (May 30) Retail connections (May 30)
9CRC-01 Crace 2700 14.3% 386
3BAC-02 Bacchus Marsh 2100 13.0% 273
4APL-01 Aspley 1900 12.6% 239
4TOB-01 Toowoomba 2700 11.0% 297
2ARM-06 Armidale 2600 9.4% 244
9CRC-05 Crace 2700 5.2% 140
2CFS-02 Coffs Harbour 2655 3.2% 85

 

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