NBN's fibre-to-the-node take-up revealed

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NBN's fibre-to-the-node take-up revealed

Analysis: Higher adoption in less time than early FTTP.

Take-up rates in the first NBN fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) areas are outstripping those seen in the early fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) footprint, new figures reveal.

The federal government quietly provided the first detailed look at NBN take-up rates in FTTN service areas via a set of documents published to the Department of Communications’ disclosure log earlier this month.

The documents offer a partial examination of the NBN rollout fortunes of mostly Coalition-held seats since the 2013 election.

However, they provide an almost complete picture of FTTN take-up on the NBN to the end of February 2016, accounting for 19,986 of a known 23,232 activations at that time.

An analysis of the figures by iTnews shows that top FTTN suburbs are achieving higher take-up rates in less time than it took for early FTTP areas to reach similar levels.

FTTP RFS Time Elapsed Take-up (%)   FTTN RFS Time Elapsed Take-up (%)
7KIN-01 23/11/12  18 weeks  37.4   2BLT-05 4/12/15  13 weeks  42.57
3SMR-03 23/11/12  18 weeks  35.7   2BLR-01 25/12/15  10 weeks  38.27
7SOR-01 23/11/12  18 weeks  34.5   2BLT-07 13/11/15  16 weeks  36.95
7GEW-01 23/11/12  18 weeks  31.7   2GRK-01 9/10/15  21 weeks  36.87
7DEL-01 23/11/12  18 weeks  29.6   2BLT-06 4/12/15  13 weeks  35.63
7TRA-01 23/11/12  18 weeks  28.7   2GRK-02 30/10/15  18 weeks  35.47
7STH-01 23/11/12  18 weeks  17.9   2GRK-06 20/11/15  15 weeks  34.64
9CRC-06 30/1/13  8.5 weeks  15.9   2BLR-02 25/12/15  10 weeks  34.08
9CRC-03 17/1/13  10.5 weeks  13.9   2BLT-10 13/11/15  16 weeks  32.51
2ARM-05 17/1/13  10.5 weeks  12.4   2GRK-03 13/11/15  16 weeks  31.44
7HOB-01 29/3/13  2 days  10.5   2BLT-01 27/11/15  14 weeks  30.36
2CFS-01 17/1/13  10.5 weeks  10.3   2BLT-04 4/12/15  13 weeks  28.69
3SMR-02 5/4/13  -1 week  8.3   2BLT-08 4/12/15  13 weeks  28.08

FTTN vs FTTP

The FTTN dataset provides an interesting opportunity to compare the take-up of fibre-to-the-node to that of fibre-to-the-premises in its early days.

To do that, we used 2012-13 data released by NBN to a parliamentary committee, as it provides similar take-up data for fibre-serving area modules in the first few months after they were declared ready for service.

iTnews analysed the fibre take-up numbers at the time, noting soaring take-up rates in NBN Co’s top 22 fibre serving area modules.

The FTTP data covers the fastest growing areas by take-up at that time. It almost certainly represents the best-case scenario for rapid take-up of FTTP in early 2013.

As we now similarly have a good representative sample of FTTN data, we’re able to similarly compare how top FTTN areas are faring in take-up terms.

The results are strong: early FTTN take-up rates are outpacing those of early FTTP.

In addition, for areas where little time elapsed between the ready for service (RFS) date and when the data was pulled, FTTN and FTTP take-up is broadly similar.

Take-up is a useful metric

NBN Co’s FTTN vs FTTP take-up rates are proof that the company’s focus on getting more people actively using the network - rather than chasing premises passed - is paying dividends.

In February this year, NBN said it broke 10,000 activations a week over a “12-week rolling average” and predicted the rate would continue to climb.

Just one quarter later, it reported average activations of 14,000 new premises each week.

“NBN is ahead of plan on activations, which is translating through to improved earnings,” CEO Bill Morrow said.

Read on to page two for a complete breakdown of the FTTN data by area

The FTTN data set offers take-up rates and data on pending orders in 48 FTTN service area modules, mostly in the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and NSW Central Coast areas of Belmont, Boolaroo, Gorokan, Morisset and Hamilton.

Data is also revealed on FTTN take-up in Bundaberg in Queensland.

The best-performing FTTN area in the dataset is 2BLT-05, which covers the Lake Macquarie suburbs of Floraville, Valentine and Eleebana. It is the only area to have breached 40 percent take-up within six months of being declared ready for service.

However, two FTTN areas are above 40 percent take-up if pending orders are taken into account.

For simplicity, we present and analyse the data by FTTN service area. The data is accurate to March 4 for all NSW sites, and January 22 for Bundaberg.

Belmont (NSW)

Home to the first end-user trial of FTTN technology to 43 homes, there are 10 “2BLT” FTTN areas in the dataset, and they are seeing some of the highest take-up rates among FTTN early adopters.

The median take-up in these East Lake Macquarie suburbs is a shade under 30 percent.

Most were declared ready to carry retail services in November or early December last year.

Rollout ID Location Ready for Service Total Premises Activated  Take-up rate (%)  Take-up + Pending Orders (%)
2BLT-01 Warners Bay  27/11/15  1953  593  30.36  33.1
2BLT-02 Warners Bay, Mount Hutton 27/11/15  2251  521  23.15  26.7
2BLT-03 Tingira Heights, Windale, Mount Hutton  27/11/15  1937  463  23.90  26.7
2BLT-04 Windale, Jewells  4/12/15  2074  595  28.69  32.0
2BLT-05 Floraville, Valentine, Eleebana  4/12/15  2767  1178  42.57  45.5
2BLT-06 Valentine, Croudace Bay  4/12/15  2217  790  35.63  39.0
2BLT-07 Floraville, Belmont North  13/11/15  2785  1029  36.95  39.9
2BLT-08 Belmont  4/12/15  2283  641  28.08  31.1
2BLT-09 Belmont, Belmont South  25/9/15  2269  540  23.80  25.5
2BLT-10 Blacksmiths, Marks Point, Pelican, Belmont South  13/11/15  2319  754  32.51  35.2

Gorokan (NSW)

This part of the NSW Central Coast is another of the first band of suburbs to roadtest FTTN services.

It encompasses suburbs including Kanwal, Tuggerawong, Wadalba, Wyongah, Hamlyn Terrace, Warnervale, Woongarrah, Charmhaven, Gorokan, Lake Haven, Toukley, Canton Beach, Norah Head, Noraville and the Budgewoi Peninsula.

It is seeing a slightly higher median take-up rate of 33.04 percent than the cluster of suburbs around Belmont.

Rollout ID Location Ready for Service Total Premises Activated  Take-up rate (%)  Take-up + Pending Orders (%)
2GRK-01 Kanwal, Tuggerawong, Wadalba, Wyongah, Hamlyn Terrace  9/10/15  2997  1105  36.87  39.9
2GRK-02 Hamlyn Terrace, Warnervale, Woongarrah, Charmhaven 30/10/15  2515  892  35.47  38.6
2GRK-03 Gorokan, Lake Haven, Charmhaven  13/11/15  3916  1231  31.44  35.2
2GRK-04 Gorokan, Lake Haven, Toukley, Canton Beach  20/11/15  4016  948  23.61  26.7
2GRK-05 Canton Beach, Norah Head, Noraville, Toukley, Budgewoi Peninsula  20/11/15  4178  981  23.48  27.0
2GRK-06 Kanwal, Warnervale, Hamlyn Terrace  20/11/15  2682  929  34.64  38.6

Boolaroo (NSW)

The “2BLR” area suburbs sit to the west of Newcastle and Lake Macquarie.

The median take-up rate is 21.6 percent, though take-up in Cameron Park is 38.2 percent, putting it among the most successful early FTTN precincts.

Rollout ID Location Ready for Service Total Premises Activated  Take-up rate (%)  Take-up + Pending Orders (%)
2BLR-01 Cameron Park  25/12/15  1675  641  38.27  43.2
2BLR-02 Cameron Park, Edgeworth, Holmesville, Killingworth, Barnsley 25/12/15  2157  735  34.08  38.7
2BLR-03 Booragul, Marmong Point, Speers Point, Teralba, Boolaroo  1/1/16  2376  401  16.88  20.3
2BLR-04 Boolaroo, Speers Point, Argenton  1/1/16  2263  498  22.01  25.4
2BLR-05 Edgeworth, Argenton  1/1/16  2660  564  21.20  24.7
2BLR-06 Seahampton, West Wallsend, Minmi  1/1/16  1281  214  16.71  20.7

Hamilton (NSW)

This consists of 14 “2HAM” coded areas covering former industrial-belt Newcastle suburbs such as Kooragang, Tighes Hill, Carrington, and inner parts of Newcastle such as the city areas, Cooks Hill and the beach suburbs like Merewether.

These areas were declared ready to carry retail services in late January and early February 2016. Take-up rates are in the high single digits, or double digits if you take into account pending orders.

This may be a function of the data as much as anything: the data was pulled on 16 March, providing scant time to show any sort of activations growth.

Rollout ID Location Ready for Service Total Premises Activated  Take-up rate (%)  Take-up + Pending Orders (%)
2HAM-01 Kooragang, Tighes Hill, Carrington  22/1/16  2041  299  14.65  20.2
2HAM-02 Newcastle West, Newcastle 22/1/16  1526  92  6.03  9.2
2HAM-03 The Hill, Newcastle  5/2/16  1347  88  6.53  11.4
2HAM-04 Newcastle East, Newcastle  5/2/16  2064  85  4.12  8.9
2HAM-05 Cooks Hill, Newcastle West, The Hill, Bar Beach  22/1/16  1828  187  10.23  15.6
2HAM-06 Cooks Hill, The Junction  26/2/16  2484  12  0.48  5.4
2HAM-07 Merewether  29/1/16  2313  151  6.53  13.5
2HAM-08 Merewether, Merewether Heights, Adamstown  29/1/16  3209  190  5.92  12.3
2HAM-09 The Junction, Hamilton South  29/1/16  2605  143  5.49  9.4
2HAM-10 Hamilton, Broadmeadow  5/2/16  1808  135  7.47  12.8
2HAM-11 Hamilton, Hamilton North, Broadmeadow  5/2/16  1598  127  7.95  16.4
2HAM-12 Maryville, Wickham, Islington  5/2/16  2684  178  6.63  14.8
2HAM-13 Hamilton East, Newcastle West, Wickham, Hamilton  29/1/16  1336  50  3.74  7.3
2HAM-14 Newcastle West, The Junction, Hamilton East  29/1/16  1322  53  4.01  8.8

Morisset (NSW)

The dataset contains a small amount of take-up information on the suburbs around Morisset on the west side of Lake Macquarie.

These include Dora Creek, Bonnells Bay, Windermere Park, Brightwaters, Mirrabooka, Morisset, Morisset Park, Silverwater, Sunshine, Yarrawonga Park, Balcolyn and Cooranbong.

These areas are new, and the data appears to be incomplete. Take-up again is single-digit, but like Morisset they had barely been declared ready for service when this data was captured.

Rollout ID Location Ready for Service Total Premises Activated  Take-up rate (%)  Take-up + Pending Orders (%)
2MRS-01 Dora Creek, Morisset, Bonnells Bay  5/2/16  2588  108  4.17  9.2
2MRS-02 Bonnells Bay, Brightwaters, Mirrabooka, Morisset Park, Silverwater, Sunshine, Windermere Park, Yarrawonga Park, Balcolyn 4/3/16  3569  0  0  4.9
2MRS-03 Morisset, Cooranbong  4/3/16  2808  0  0  2.9

Bundaberg (QLD)

The only non-NSW statistics on FTTN take-up come from the “4BBE” areas in Bundaberg and surrounds.

Ready for service in the nine FTTN service areas represented occurred in December 2015. Take-up is more modest than NSW suburbs that have had FTTN connections around for a similar time.

However, with pending orders taken into account, the suburbs of Avenell Heights, Bundaberg South, Kepnock and Ashfield appear to have cleared 20 percent take-up.

Rollout ID Location Ready for Service Total Premises Activated  Take-up rate (%)  Take-up + Pending Orders (%)
4BBE-01 Bundaberg Central  11/12/15  948  11  1.16  2.4
4BBE-02 Kalkie, Rubyanna, Bundaberg East 11/12/15  2673  274  10.25  17.9
4BBE-03 Walkervale, Norville  11/12/15  2464  250  10.15  16.7
4BBE-04 Thabeban, Walkervale, Avenell Heights  11/12/15  2974  343  11.53  19.0
4BBE-05 Avenell Heights, Bundaberg South, Kepnock, Ashfield  11/12/15  3236  418  12.92  21.3
4BBE-06 Millbank, Svensson Heights, Bundaberg West  25/12/15  2272  126  5.55  10.2
4BBE-07 Gooburrum, Bundaberg North  25/12/15  3044  259  8.51  14.5
4BBE-08 Bundaberg South, Bundaberg Central  25/12/15  1812  83  4.58  8.0
4BBE-09 Kensington, Norville, Svensson Heights, Bundaberg West  25/12/15  1491  81  5.43  9.5
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