Here we are, officially at the halfway mark of the nbn™ network build with one in two Australians now able to connect to the nbn™ network.
When Bill Morrow told me he was leaving Vodafone to take on the Chief Executive role at nbn, I wrinkled my nose and asked "Why on Earth?!"
It didn’t take long before he had me sold on the idea of what this incredible team would build for our beautiful country.
The change we would enable if we delivered what, at the time, seemed an impossible task. I signed up two months later and haven't looked back.
I don't think anyone would be surprised to hear it’s been quite a journey. From a personal and a professional viewpoint. While we’ve been constructing one of Australia’s biggest infrastructure builds, we have been at the mercy of changes of government and policy.
We have been described as a political football. We have had to build a company from the ground up and be nimble to deliver something that no other country of comparable landmass or population density has ever attempted.
When you take into account the sheer size, scale and complexity of the nbn™ network, what we have achieved so far is simply staggering. Noting we don’t always get it right, I can say with certainty that we try our best.
nbn is rolling out the network at record rates, with an additional 100,000 homes and businesses added to the footprint each week, and more than 40,000 new homes and businesses signing up with their preferred retailer each week.
At the halfway mark, more than 5.7 million homes and businesses are now able to connect to the nbn™ network*.
For the past three years, we have met or exceeded each key metric set by the nbn Board and we are well on track to complete the build by 2020.
While 70 per cent of the network build to date has been within rural and remote Australia, we have recently made a substantive move into metro with build commencing in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Canberra and Adelaide.
And for all the colourful headlines and political commentary, the bottom line is we’re on budget and ahead of schedule to provide access to the nbn™ network for millions of Australian homes and businesses in the next few years, and we have only been able to do this because of the commitment and hard work of the 6,000 people employed directly by nbn and the more than 17,000 people employed by our delivery partners.
While it's fair to say it isn’t always smooth sailing, the balance is that we are doing everything we can to ensure we learn and improve daily as we move across this huge nation and provide access to fast broadband to all Australians.
In fact, our consumer surveys show that the majority of people connected to services over the nbn™ network are indeed satisfied and enjoying the benefits.
From a communications perspective, it has certainly been a challenging journey. We’ve had to deliver to the expectations of our Shareholder Ministers, collaborate extensively with our delivery partners, our retail service partners and manage and meet the expectations of the public.
There is no doubt that the message is one of change and our role has been to facilitate this change.
One thing is for sure: once complete, the nbn™ network will provide a platform that will help create the world’s most connected continent and build a foundation for all Australians to compete on a global scale to further their economic and social prosperity.
In the meantime, we’ll keep working hard to bring fast internet to Australians as quickly and pain-free as we can!
Check your address to see if you can connect to the nbn™ network.
* Based on current estimate of 11.2 million premises in Australia today.