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NBN Take-Up Hit, After "Delays"

By Oonagh Reidy | Friday | 22/03/2013

3 month delays to NBN rollout will 'impact' take up of broadband services.

Yesterday, NBN Co admitted the $37.4 bn NBN rollout would be delayed by "about " three months, blaming contractors for the hold up.

Its target of connecting 341,000 premises to fibre by end June not won't be met for about three months, or late September, CEO Mike Quigley said yesterday.

Between 190,000 - 220,000 premises will now to be passed by fibre by June, a shortfall of up to 141,000 connections.

And now it seems the delays in fibre rollout, will also affect consumers/business take-up targets (of high speed broadband) of 92,000 by end June, set by NBN Co.

By December 31 last, there was just 34,500 using National Broadband Network services but the broadband company was hoping to ramp up this figure in 2013 and treble take to 90,000 by June.

"We have a target of 92,000 Premises Activated across all technologies for June 2013. We expect this will be impacted by today's announcement." a NBN spokesperson told SmartHouse.

When quizzed about how much 92,000 takeup would be reduced by, NBN Co spokesperson would not be drawn on a figure, but did say "we will be continuing our marketing efforts in areas that are active to reduce the impact as far as possible."

Since rollout is delayed, it means availability of NBN fibre and wireless services, and thus takeup will also suffer a setback.

However, the spokesperson insisted take-up rate of fibre broadband offered by NBN  is "very pleasing" at around 25%, or 1 in 4.

"In Brownfields areas that have had the NBN for more than 12 months the take-up rate is 25%, which compares favourably with other rollouts worldwide. "

"The fundamentals of the NBN are unaffected we are on track to deliver the whole project by 2021," the spokesperson added. 

"We now need to keep working with our contractors to help them mobilise the skilled workforce they need to meet the plan."

NBN Co aims to connect 3.5 million Ausssie premises to broadband network by 2015, so more delays like this will not be welcome.

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