I suspect most Lifehacker readers would race to connect to the National Broadband Network (NBN) if they had the option. Turns out the general public is a little bit slower getting on board.
NBN Co, which is building the network, announced in its half-yearly results today that there were 748,552 premises which could now connect to the NBN as of the end of December 2014. Of those, 322,391 have done so, which is just 43 per cent of the serviceable premises. (That number is up 53 per cent on the previous year.)
The chances are good that many of those customers won’t migrate until the associated copper network is switched off. While NBN Co is now committed to a multi-technology mix which will see many people accessing broadband via copper to the nearest broadband node and others use pay TV cable, sites rolled out to date have still involved fibre to the premises.
One thing we didn’t learn? Any more about when cable options might be available. CEO Bill Morrow said that while the deals signed with Telstra and Optus did mean that planning had been able to begin, not all the contract requirements had yet been finalised. “We will hopefully do that in the near term,” he said.
For those of you watching the money, so far the government has invested $10.4 billion in NBN Co equity. The figure is supposed to be capped at $29.5 billion. By 2020, NBN Co is aiming to have connected 8 million premises. We hope that happens, but if there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that large projects are easy to mess up.