For the first time since the technology launched last year, NBN has recorded revenue from fibre to the node (FTTN). Albeit only a trickle, even by the standards of the still-under-construction National Broadband Network.
For the nine months to 31 March, NBN recorded FTTN revenue of $3 million. Unless the current blueprint for the network is rollout is upended FTTN is set to be one of the key technologies used by NBN.
However, for now it still remains dwarfed by fibre to the premises (FTTP), both in the number of connections and in revenue.
In its Q3 results, NBN reported total revenue of $275 million for the year to date, with $151 million of that from its 725,071 active FTTP connections. FTTN, which only launched in September, accounted for 43,553 connections.
In total, at the end of the quarter NBN had 902,948 active connections.
Bill Morrow CEO was characteristically upbeat about the results. “It’s our eight successful quarter in a row,” he told a results briefing.
“Virtually every key objective we have in our plan is either on or ahead of target. Over the last two years we have aligned the organisation around meeting current objectives and at the same time driving initiatives that enable the company to scale so we can continue to double the volumes, year after year and the results are coming through.”
The results release is significant not just for recording FTTN revenue for the first time, but it also because it revealed that the network now has more than 2 million premises able to order a service.
“In this past quarter the company passed the 2 million milestone for premises ready for service,” Morrow said. “This is a significant milestone and a clear demonstration of how the team is hitting its stride.”
NBN’s Q3 results release is also the last before the official launch of the final component of the ‘multi-technology mix’ network, hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC). And it’s also the last results release before the federal election, which could potentially reshape the rollout for a second time (though the details of how are not yet clear)
Operating expenses for the year to date grew to $1.35 billion, up 51 per cent from the comparative period in the company’s previous financial year.
NBN reported negative EBITDA for the quarter of $383 million (compared to a loss of $288 million for Q3 last year). For the year to date it recorded an EBITDA loss of $1.07 billion (compared to an EBITDA loss of $785 million in the comparative period).