NBN Co chairman Ziggy Switkowski has conceded that NBN Co will need to bring on 100,000 premises a month every month for the next eight years to meet its 2020 deadline for the National Broadband Network (NBN) rollout.
Speaking at an Ai Group Business event today, Switkowski told delegates that the required run rate to get the “job done by 2020ish” means it will have to bring on 100,000 premises a month every month for eight years.
“At the moment we are passing 6000 premises a week, so we have to increase that,” he said.
“At this stage, we have built around 500,000 premises. We only have 11.5 million to go,” he joked.
Switkowski was asked by a delegate if 100 megabits per second (Mbps) will be fast enough in the year 2020.
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The NBN Co chairman said that Australia has gone from 256 kilobits per second in 2004 to an average 6 to 8 Mbps in 2014.
“If you continue that growth and you see what is driving demand which is video and online services, 100 Mbps on average will be right. If you are a demanding household which requires you to have a dozen teenagers, than you will be able to find a high speed service,” he joked.
NBN Co last year conducted carried out a strategic review which recommended a move away from a primarily fibre-to-the-premise (FTTP) rollout to a multi-technology mix that would include fibre-to-the-node and fibre-to-the-basement or distribution point (FTTB/DP).
TPG’s competing rollout of an FTTB product to buildings was also mentioned by Switkowski.
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“TPG have flagged that they are going to start marketing that service. We have indicated to the industry that this is unhelpful and over time it is unwise,” he said.
NBN Co's chief executive, Bill Morrow, has warned that buildings that sign up for TPG's FTTB rollout could run the risk of being stuck with a single RSP.
"The NBN levels the playing field for Australian telecommunications and creates real and vibrant competition," Morrow said in April.
"We can make this statement because the NBN doesn’t sell directly to consumers and is open to all retail service providers to use on equal terms. Vertically integrated carriers — companies that both own networks and market to consumers — cannot offer those same guarantees."
Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick