NBN Co. meets FTTH deployment goal, but competitors want lower wholesale prices

NBN Co., the public-private company building out Australia's National Broadband Network, said that it has met its revised end-of-year target of 190,000 to 220,000 homes passed by its fiber to the home rollout. However, a key wholesale customer is threatening to abandon the NBN over its prices.

As of the end of June, the service provider passed 207,500 premises, including both Brownfield and Greenfield housing developments. In addition, the service provider reported a four-fold increase in the total number of NBN users, while fiber-based connections increased seven-fold.

Out of the 70,100 homes and businesses that signed up for an NBN connection, 33,600 were accessing services via fiber. Out of that of number, 22,400 were at Brownfield sites, with the remaining 13,200 at Greenfield sites. It also signed up about a total of 1,900 fixed wireless and 34,600 satellite broadband customers, up from 100 and 9,600, respectively, from a year ago.

After reporting in March that its buildout fell 10 weeks behind schedule due to what it said was a lack of qualified workers and "ambitious" targets, NBN Co. issued a revised rollout forecast that the network would pass between 190,000 and 220,000 premises with fiber by the end of June.

Despite meeting its homes passed target, one of its key wholesale customers, iiNet, which just began offering services over the NBN in Perth last month, said that it may abandon the NBN if they don't lower their wholesale prices.

"NBN Co's attitude is very dictatorial, it's very public service and it's very 'take it or leave it'," said Steve Dalby, iiNet's chief regulatory officer in a Telecompaper article. "It's just surprising they have this attitude when you can actually leave it."

Dalby's comments emerged following the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's release of its draft changes for the NBN Co.'s Special Access Undertaking, a document that lays out the pricing and conditions to provide wholesale services to competitive service providers such as iiNet.

For more:
- see the release (.pdf)
- Telecompaper has this article

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