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NBN Co. in Australia - statistics & facts

NBN Co Limited is a corporation established by the Australian Government in April 2009 to oversee the rollout of the National Broadband Network, commonly known as the NBN. Once completed, the NBN should provide wired broadband connections to over 90 percent of the country. The remaining premises that cannot be connected to the wired network can be connected by the satellite network dubbed ‘Sky Muster’. NBN Co. is the monopoly wholesale broadband provider in Australia, an arrangement that promotes competition between Internet Service Providers (ISP) and provides better prices for consumers.

A smooth NBN rollout?

Initially budgeted at 29.5 billion Australian dollars, the NBN’s cost and completion date have been moving targets for over half a decade. In 2020, the budget had reached 51 billion Australian dollars, and the initial 2016 completion date had been moved by four years to mid-2020. In fact, the Government announced the NBN rollout was officially complete in December 2020. Despite criticism of the cost and timeline, NBN Co has performed well in recent years. In 2022, the revenue of NBN Co exceeded five billion Australian dollars. The network also grew rapidly as it neared the finish line, with around 12 million ready to connect (RTC) premises at the end of the 2021 financial year.

Broadband internet retailers

As the monopoly wholesaler of broadband internet in Australia, NBN Co is closely regulated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). As such, NBN Co cannot provide internet connections as an ISP in its own right. Instead, it manages the wholesale contracts for Retail Service Providers (RSP), and the RSPs sell retail broadband internet connections to their customers. TPG, Optus, and the formally public-owned Telstra, all hold considerable portions of the retail broadband market. While wholesale prices are regulated at a fixed price, there is still some variation in retail pricing from RSP to RSP, depending on the wholesale speed tier, and how it is bundled.

Australians and their internet use

With over 90 percent of the population actively using the internet, Australians rely on their internet connections for both work and leisure. However, even with the completion of the NBN, Australia ranks relatively poorly in terms of internet speeds compared to other countries. The average download speeds for fixed broadband were around 87 Mbps whereas world internet speed leaders, Singapore and Hong Kong, left Australia in the dust with speeds of around three times that of Australia. These lower speeds may be partially due to the NBN’s use of mixed technologies and pre-existing copper connections to complete the network, but it is also important to take into account the scope of the NBN given Australia’s size and low population density.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 28 most important statistics relating to "NBN Co. in Australia".

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