When releasing the 2018 NBN Corporate Plan yesterday the Communications Minister, Mitch Fifield said:

“Just because Bill Morrow and his team looked relaxed, it doesn’t mean that they are."

Well Minister, they shouldn’t be – and frankly, given the results released today, neither should you. 

Reality is imposing its will on the flawed multi-technology mix and there is nowhere for the Turnbull Government to hide.

  • Average revenue per user (ARPU) has stalled at $43, with an increasing dependence on CVC for growth.
  • The HFC rollout is a mess, and remains three years and over 1.5 million premises short of the 2013 Strategic Review target.
  • Cumulative CAPEX to the end of construction build has increased by $1.4 billion compared to the 2017 plan, despite there now being 300,000 fewer premises.
  • Cumulative Revenue to the end of the construction build has decreased by $200 million.
  • Peak funding in FY2020 has edged up from $48.6 billion last year to $48.8 billion in this year’s plan.
  • An increased $600 million in contingency has been set aside for FY21, which raises questions about whether NBN intends to delay remediation work.

Despite this bad news, the Government has clung to existing revenue assumptions and the Internal Rate of Return (IRR) curiously remains unchanged.

There is a cloud hanging over several key figures in the Corporate Plan, and Labor will rigorously scrutinise any attempts to misrepresent the underlying financials.

Further, NBNCo has also failed to achieve any reduction in the cost to deploy Fibre to the Node and HFC, despite New Zealand having made Fibre to the Premises 44 per cent cheaper.

These systemic failures are a consequence of the incoherence and complexity that arises when trying to deploy multiple technologies, rather than focusing on a ubiquitous fibre rollout.

Australians were promised an NBN that would be delivered by 2016 at a cost of $29.5 billion. Instead, they are getting an NBN that will be three years late and $20 billion over budget.

Malcolm Turnbull’s fraudband is a mess.