NBN Co announced their half yearly financial results today, highlighted by a doubling in revenue for the six months to December 31, 2017. Further to this announcement, the company revealed that they are already seeing increased uptake on high-speed 50/20Mbps since offering wholesale discounts in December - and they expect a million users to be on the 50/20Mbps tier by the end of the year.
As part of a restructure back in December, NBN Co announced that they would be offering discounts on wholesale retail bundles in an effort to increase uptake of higher speeds. At that point in time, around 80 percent of users were on 25Mbps plans or less.
In the report released today, the number of premises on 25Mbps or less still sits at 82 percent for the six months up to December 31, 2017.
However, NBN Co chief executive Bill Morrow revealed that the number of end users on 50Mbps plans has grown by 48% since they cut prices on wholesale bundles.
"Before we launched the promotion in December, there were 140,000 end users on 50Mbps plans. That’s now increased to 207,000. And we expect that to be more than 1 million by the end of this fiscal year."
The increased percentage of users on higher speed bundles should help the NBN to recoup some of the losses that will occur as a result of the pause on Hybrid Fibre-Coaxial (HFC) connections.
The report revealed that the cost of these HFC connections - which are still on hold indefinitely, until testing is complete - has risen and could potentially cost taxpayers a whole lot more than expected.
Although initially planned to speed up the rollout, the HFC network has been a constant source of headaches for NBN Co. With costs continuing to balloon, the increased uptake of higher speed plans across the network will come as some relief for NBN Co and potentially result in higher revenue, with Morrow also stating that new orders of the 50Mbps tiers are up ten-fold.
The NBN has long planned to reach a target of $52 revenue per user once the rollout was complete, but that figure currently sits at just $44 to the end of December, 2017. Morrow now concedes it is unlikely that NBN Co will hit that target by 2020.