NBN revenue climbs, boosted by FTTP

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NBN revenue climbs, boosted by FTTP

ARPU growth also contributes to revenue surge.

NBN's revenue for the first half of fiscal 2016 jumped 152 percent to $164 million year on year, buoyed by $91 million reaped from fibre-to-the-premise connections.

NBN today delivered its results for the six months to December 31.

FTTP provided the lion's share of the $164 million in revenue at $91 million - 153 percent growth on the same half in FY2015 - followed by $51 million in connectivity virtual circuit (CVC) charges, predominantly arising from FTTP users.

NBN reaped $12 million in revenue from fixed wireless, $5 million from satellite and $5 million from non-telecommunications services for the half.

The two other fixed-line components of the government's "multi-technology mix" NBN, HFC and fibre-to-the-node, are yet to deliver revenue for the company. FTTN sevices became available in September and the NBN is still piloting HFC.

The number of premises now active on the network increased to 736,000, with the rate of new connections now exceeding 10,000 per week.

NBN had 6636 active users on the FTTN network at the end of the half, compared to just under 611,000 FTTP users.

The increase in revenue was not solely caused by more premises connecting to the network, with average revenue per user reaching $43, up from $39 over the same time period last year.

The ARPU figure is above the network builder’s internal targets, according to NBN chief executive Bill Morrow.

NBN’s cost per premises during the half stood at $4419 on its brownfield FTTP network, $2770 on greenfield FTTP, $2300 on FTTN and $3516 on fixed wireless.

Capital expenditure reaches $2.1 billion

Total capital expenditure for the half increased to $2.1 billion, up from $1.4 billion a year earlier.

Of that total, FTTN spending grew to $599 million, while FTTP expenditure decreased to $669 million from $756 million a year earlier.

Capex on HFC was at $151 million for the half, which NBN attributed to the rollout of DOCSIS 3.1 and additional equipment installation on the network.

The network operator also spent $180 million on fixed wireless sites and base stations, as well as $91 million on its Sky Muster satellite launch and associated base stations.

IT costs and media relations op-ex increase

NBN’s operating expenditure increased to $852 million, from $562 million a year earlier, including an increase in employee-related expenses to $284 million.

The largest operating expenditure item for the network builder was telecommunications and network costs, including customer disconnection charges, which grew to $376 million from $226 million a year earlier.

Software and IT related expenses also increased to $69 million, up from $58 million, while NBN also spent more on public relations and communications, from $8 million to $19 million.

The software figures only include the opex aspect of NBN’s internal IT spend, with the network builder declining to break out any more detailed figures.

The NBN reported overall EBIDTA for the half of $688 million, up from $497 million for the same period in 2014, while its net loss after tax hit $1.239 billion, up from $902 million, due to the increasing pace of the rollout.

Equity contributed by the federal government reached $16.4 billion of its $29.5 billion cap, up from $10.4 billion a year earlier.

NBN is still on track to reach the federal government’s equity investment cap in June 2017, and will look to private equity markets once it is reached.

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