NBN take-up lags, rollout targets may be missed: report

Business Spectator

Data shows that only about a quarter of homes that have had access to the National Broadband Network (NBN) for more than a year have actually signed up for the service, further fuelling opposition claims that the campaign to roll-out high-speed broadband is inefficient, according to The Australian.

Of the first-release sites, take-up is averaging 25 per cent, and nation-wide take-up is about 15 per cent for the $37.4 billion network.

Opposition communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull said the low pick-up does not justify what was “really an unprecedented spend on promotion by the NBN Co of a kind that I don't think we've ever seen for a bit of government infrastructure before”, according to The Australian.

An NBN Co spokesman said the company is “happy with the rate of activations to date”, adding that it took Britain four years to achieve a take-up rate of two per cent of homes with access to its similar initiative.

The newspaper added that senior construction sources involved with the NBN said they are worried that holidays, potential labour shortages and delayed council approvals could mean the network builder will miss its target of passing 341,000 premises with fibre optic cable by June 2013.