Govt reveals take-up rates for NBN
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has released details of the rate consumers are taking up the National Broadband Network, confirming recent reports that in areas where the service has been available for more than a year, one in four premises have elected to connect to the service.
Senator Conroy said the take-up rate of 25 per cent was superior to the experiences in other countries, including the US, Europe, Singapore and New Zealand, where take-up rates were as low as two per cent.
The announcement is in response to figures reported last week by the Australian newspaper, which stated that “just one in four homes” were electing to connect to the NBN. The same newspaper reported in November last year that “just one in nine” homes were connecting.
Senator Conroy compared the take-up to the roll-out of Verizon's fibre to the home (FttH) service in the US in 2005. Three years later, it had achieved a take-up rate of 24 per cent. This improved to 37 per cent in 2012.
He said the average take-up after three years in Europe was 21 per cent, and 20 per cent in Singapore after three and a half years.
New Zealand has reported a take-up of less than two per cent for its service, in which 76,000 premises were passed by fibre in August 2012.
"We have not been able to find any jurisdiction in the world that has achieved anywhere near that level of initial success," Senator Conroy said.
He also compared the speed of connection to other internet technologies, including dial-up and ADSL, which had lower take-up rates in their first years of service.
The federal Opposition has been critical of the pace of the roll-out of the NBN and has put forward its own plan of a fibre to the node (FttN) network, which is claims will be cheaper while still providing adequate download speeds.
Former NBN Co head of industry relations and product development, Jim Hassell, said in October that the organisation expected take-up rates to improve once Telstra begins to switch off its copper network.
Mr Hassell said people in 15 areas covering approximately 25,000 homes and businesses are expected to make the switch to the fibre network over an 18-month timeframe as the copper network was decommissioned.
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