NBN hits 2 million premises mark

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NBN hits 2 million premises mark

Will need to up its game to reach 4.4m by 2018.

NBN last week passed a milestone 2 million premises connected to the network, and will likely surpass 1 million active users within the next three weeks.

NBN's weekly progress report [pdf] reveals the network builder reached the 2 million mark last week after it passsed over 30,000 premises in the seven-day period to April 28.

According to the report, over the last few months NBN has experienced an average connection rate of around 23,000 premises each week.

On average, around 14,000 users take up active services on the NBN per week.

The network builder is working towards a June 30 2016 target of 2.6 million premises passed, which it is expected to meet with ease.

However, to reach its target of 4.4 million premises connected to the network by 2018, and 8 million premises by 2020, it will need to more than double its current average weekly connection rate.

While announcing the network builder's quarterly results to March 31 today, NBN CFO Stephen Rue said it had connected more premises in the past nine months than in the period between when the NBN began and March last year.

The ramp-up in the rollout meant NBN spent just over $3.3 billion of its $29.5 billion government funding allotment in the last nine months. It expects to have spent $4.9 billion by the end of its 2016 year in June.

The government's 2016 budget papers earlier this week revealed NBN only has $8.8 billion left in government funding, whcih will run out at the end of the 2016-17 financial year. 

NBN has already started discussions with the private sector over debt funding - of which it needs to raise between $16.5 billion and $26.5 billion - to complete the project.

For the three-month period, NBN reported total revenue of $111 million, a 158 percent increase on the same quarter in 2015.

Operating expenses grew 49 percent to $494 million over the quarter, in line with the increase in the rollout and growth in its business, Rue said. Employee costs also grew to $434 million from $284 million at the same point last year.

Its average revenue per user stayed consistent at $43.

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