Australia's nbn hit the halfway mark this month when it connected 6 million homes and businesses to the nation-wide ultra-broadband wholesale network.
The fiber-to-the-node (FTTN) and hybrid fiber coaxial (HFC) or pay-TV deployments eventually will serve 8 million residential and commercial customers by 2020, nbn said. Over the last three months, the network has been adding almost 100,000 premises per week, it added.
Likewise, 2.7 million premises are accessing retail services via nbn's network and approximately 40,000 new sites sign up with industry service providers each week, according to nbn. In the last three months, more than 1.1 million premises became serviceable, said nbn CEO Bill Morrow.
Currently, more than half the network is completed; by next year, three-quarters of the network should be done and the entire infrastructure should be final by 2020, according to nbn.
The network includes a mix of technologies such as NG-PON2, fiber and Gfast, a combination designed to most rapidly attain nbn's goals in the most cost-sensitive manner. (See Australia's nbn Rolls Out NG-PON 2 Trial.)
Although the national open-access broadband network commits only to deliver access of at least 25 Mbp/s downstream to all premises and at least 50 Mbp/s to 90% of fixed-line premises, the network is designed to be future-compatible, nbn said. And more than 2 million subscribers use nbn's network for gigabit service, said Morrow in a company blog.
"The numbers and the momentum are important but contented end users are the key to success and we have every intention of delivering on our plan of connecting eight million happy homes and businesses by 2020," said Morrow in a release.
Despite its strides, nbn has been criticized for not meeting posted download speeds; delays and mixed quality, according to Australian media. The nation's advertising watchdog agency recently warned Internet service providers -- that use nbn's network for their services -- to "immediately" change their marketing verbiage to include minimum peak-hour speeds, reported the Sydney Morning Herald this week.
But nbn is fighting back.
Citing its "own independently conducted survey," nbn said only 6% of customers find their nbn connection is "not meeting expectations," Morrow's blog reported.
"That figure is still 6% too high, but the figures demonstrate that, while there is a lot of noise in the media from unhappy end users, these are very much the minority," he said. "The vast majority of people on the nbn network are having a great experience and for those that aren't, we are working hard to improve their experience."
— Alison Diana, Editor, UBB2020. Follow us on Twitter @UBB2020 or @alisoncdiana.