NBN, the government-owned company responsible for Australia's broadband infrastructure, met its own revised estimates for rollout and deployment in fiscal 2019 and the most recent quarter -- an infrequent victory, despite a track record of moving the goal post.
For the three months ended June 27, NBN connected 1.1 million-plus premises, the company said. For its fiscal year, the network passed 9.93 million buildings; its forecast was 9.7 million. NBN saw 5.52 million households or small- and mid-sized businesses activate over the last 12 months, slightly up from its predicted 5.5 million. (NBN's fiscal year ended June 30, but it released this connection data earlier than its financials, which will come out on August 15.)
Since its founding in 2010, NBN frequently has changed its deployment forecasts -- and never upward. In 2011, NBN revised its original target of 223,000 premises passed to 183,000. For fiscal year 2013, it almost halved the forecast from -- 1.22 million to 661,000 premises passed. In 2017 the company celebrated a milestone when it deployed infrastructure past 5.7 million premises and 2.2 million active connections; however, its plan now calls for it to reach 11.2 million premises instead of an earlier expectation of 11.9 million buildings. In 2011, NBN aimed to pass 13 million premises.
The price, however, has increased. Rollout will cost about A$52 billion ($36.8 million) compared to the A$29.5 billion ($20.8 million) originally estimated in 2013. And NBN is nowhere near its once-projected revenue of about $5.4 billion annually, initially predicted for 2020. Now it looks as though network deployment could run through 2022 and investments will continue into the billions.
— Alison Diana, Editor, Broadband World News. Follow us on Twitter or @alisoncdiana.