Progress on the rollout has been slow, especially if viewed from the Australian public perspective. However, if one considers the magnitude of the project, much has been accomplished.  Any large project requires basic groundwork to be established before results become visible.  The NBN is no exception.
The first reference below (Mr.Quigley’s summery of the NBNCo’s progress) shows clearly how much had been done during his tenure.
The NBN Co and the Government have often been criticized  for slow progress. Much of this is from Mr. Turnbull who says “the NBN progress is like an arthritic snail”.
Mr Turnbull ignores the fact that during the Coalition’s previous twelve years of government they have not achieved any progress and looked on while Telstra continued to install inferior ADSL systems (see RIMs) across Australia. Constant dispute between Telstra and other ISPs  needed continued  intervention from the ACCC with no final resolution ever in sight. During this time many users (including this writer) were told that they are stuck behind a RIM and ADSL1 (1.5Mb/sec downstream and .25Mb/sec upstream) with not hope of improvement.
If some criticism can be made, it would be that rollout forecasts have been too optimistic. Even then, much of that would probably been to fend of the continuous stream of negative criticism aimed at the project, mainly by politicians.
Below are some of the achievements to date and the latest rollout status.


A good overview of the achievements of NBNCo before the change of government in 2013 was given by Mike Quigley in a presentation hosted by TELSOC.
David Thodey, CEO of Telstra, gave the welcome address in which he paid tribute to Mike Quigley, his formidable achievements at NBN Co and his integrity throughout the working relationship between the two companies.
At this event Mike was formally awarded the Charles Todd Medal of 2013 which had been announced at the Charles Todd Oration on 23 October.
It should be noted that Mr. Quigley was constantly and viciously attacked by Mr. Turnbull throughout these years. This could only have been done for political expediency and does Mr. Turnbull no credit.


Regional Backbone Blackspots Program

(RBBP) February 2012

The Australian government has completed the 250 million Regional Backbone Blackspots Program (RBBP). The programme has now delivered over 6,000 km of fibre backbone across regional Australia, benefiting around 400,000 people and more than 100 regional locations. This also forms part of th­e National Broadband Network.



 Network Operations Centre established

NBN Co has opened its $32.5 million network services operations centre (NSOC) in Melbourne’s Docklands precinct.

  • The nerve centre of the NBN will be a world class Network and Services Operations Centre (NSOC) which will provide state of the art network monitoring 24 hours a day, 365 days a year of the entire national network.The NSOC will provide a single point of contact for all of NBN partners to activate services, manage enquiries and to rectify any end user service disruption.The NSOC offers a multi-tiered support for customers and the network:
  • Customer Operations Team – 24/7 helpdesk support for our partners
  •  Network Surveillance Team – 24/7 network monitoring and proactive management of the network
  • Operations Support Team – supports a comprehensive network maintenance programmeThe centre is co-located with a national test facility and a discovery centre, which is a demonstration suite aimed at educating the public about the NBN and the services it will enable.


 Telstra Agreement

On 7 March 2012 the Definitive Agreements between NBN Co and Telstra were finalised and came into force,paving the way for a faster, cheaper and more efficient rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN).

The Definitive Agreements provide for the reuse of suitable Telstra infrastructure and for Telstra to progressively structurally separate by decommissioning its copper and broadband HFC networks during the NBN rollout. Telstra’s structural separation is an important reform that will enable the telecommunications sector to provide more competitive and innovative services to consumers.


 Recruit Contractors

Contractors for a wide range of services had to be recruited and terms negotiated.

NBN CO discovered  that the contractors  price for risk and the price for doing the work was simply too high and we took the difficult decision – we took it very carefully after a lot of discussion – to suspend that process.

Beause our view was that we weren’t going to get to a fair price, and the only way to achieve that was to sit down opposite a credible company and work through the detail, which is what we’ve done.

These negotiations ended in agreements that were mutially acceptable to NBN and rollout contractors, but cause a significant delay in the rollout process.

A link on the NBN site containing the information quoted above has now been deleted.


 Expand Australian Fiber Manufacturing

In January 2011, NBN Co awarded Prysmian a five-year contract valued at up to $300 million to provide cabling for the National Broadband Network project. Since then Prysmian has invested in expanding its manufacturing facilities to assist in meeting the needs of Australia’s largest infrastructure project.  An $11 million expansion to the Prysmian fibre manufacturing facility in Dee Why, NSW was opened on 9 August 2012.


Another 40 million NBN fibre factory was opened in Clayton, VIC in May 2012.

Fibre-optic maker Corning has opened a new Australian production line, manufacturing ‘ribbon fibre’ cables for NBN Co — the first time this type of fibre has been used or manufactured in Australia.

The significantly expanded manufacturing facility is expected to create up to 400 local manufacturing jobs as the rollout of the NBN scales up (and, as Senator Conroy said at the launch, that’s just part of the up to 16,000 – 18,000 jobs the NBN is forecast to create across the country at the peak of the rollout.)


Rollout Status

Current Status

The coalition government has undertaken to provide weekly updates of the current rollout status. The first of these was published on 27/10/2013 and can be downloaded here.

Below are some graphs that illustrate the premises passed since July 2013.  The numbers are from the NBNCo weekly report.

The first four graphs show the last  quarter  rollout figures. The “premises passed at Quarter end” are the last numbers for a quarter as published by NBNCo. The “premises passed in Quarter” are NBNCo’s figures published in that quarter





Links to Monthly Rollout Status

Document Link
Australia Wide readarticle
Australian Capital Territory readarticle
New South Wales readarticle
Northern Territory readarticle
Queensland readarticle
South Australia readarticle
Tasmania readarticle
Victoria readarticle
Western Australia readarticle