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Friday, 05 April 2013 05:11

The NBN has cost nearly $4 billion so far Featured

By

A Government report shows that NBN Co received $946 million in Government funding in the second half of 2012, bringing total funding to $3,778 million.

The figures are contained in a report submitted to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the National Broadband Network. The 43 page report goes into great detail about the NBN Co’s operations, including detailed financial information.

But the figures include only actual payments, and not commitments. Nor do they include substantial contracts awarded by the NBN in this calendar year, such as the contract with Ariadne to launch the NBN satellites (“up to” $300 million awarded in March) and the deal with Transfield to wire the Sydney metropolitan area, also awarded in March, which could be worth up to $500 million.

The figures show that as at 31 December 2012, only 35,000 premises had actually been connected to the NBN, most of them with fixed wireless and satellite. The number of existing (“brownfields”) premises connected was just 6,613. But construction had commenced on work covering over 1 million premises (out of an Australian total of about 8.5 million premises).

In the six months to 31 December 2012, NBN Co incurred $66 million in direct costs and $267 million general expenditure. The main components for the six months to 31 December 2012 were:

§ $153 million of employee related expenses ($122 million in the previous period)

§ $57 million for IT and facilities expenses ($56 million in the previous period)

§ $29 million for external services ($39 million in the previous period).

In the six months to 31 December 2012, NBN Co incurred $792 million in capital expenditure. Property, plant and equipment included additions of $1,216 million for the six month period to 31 December 2012. This consisted of network assets of $639 million for the construction of the transit, fibre, satellite and fixed wireless networks. Network and non-network assets acquired under finance lease additions of $406 million.

As at 31 December 2012, NBN Co had entered into commitments totalling $4,404 million. Commitments increased $475 million during the period, primarily due to $325 million committed to satellites and their earth stations and launch services. $133 million was spent on fibre deployment and support activities.

The report says that NBN Co expects to record a tax loss in the current financial year, and that this will continue for the “next several financial years.”


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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson sadly passed away in Jan 2021 and a much valued senior associate editor at iTWire. He was one of Australia’s longest serving and most experienced IT journalists. He is the author of the only definitive history of the Australian IT industry, ‘A Vision Splendid: The History of Australian Computing.’He was in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time weekly IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism. Graeme will be sadly missed by the iTWire Family, Readers, Customers and PR firms.

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