NBN cites progress in clearing installation backlog

Cuts ‘aged orders’ by 76 per cent

NBN’s chief network engineering officer, Peter Ryan, says the company has made “significant progress” in clearing its backlog of installation orders.

NBN has reduced so-called “aged orders” by 76 per cent since December. Aged orders are complex NBN installations that take more than 28 days. Examples include connecting heritage-listed buildings to the National Broadband Network and those installations that require council approval to progress.

“We will continue to work with industry to improve our processes to clear complex installations and deliver these within our agreed time frames with phone and internet providers,” Ryan wrote in a blog entry.

Ryan said that NBN’s latest monthly progress report, released this morning, revealed that the proportion of “right first time installations” had improved from 84 per cent in April 2017 to 91 per cent at the end of April 2018.

The metric reflects the percentage of homes and businesses that don’t require additional work from NBN following an initial attempt at installation.

The monthly report is an initiative NBN launched in March.

Ryan said that the company had made progress in releasing more premises in the hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) footprint for sale. The NBN executive said that some 36,000 HFC-connected premises in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth are expected to be declared ready for service by the end of June.

“This will be the first of what we expect to be many HFC releases over the coming months as we refine our processes and ramp up our release schedule so an average of 100,000 premises per month can be put back into market throughout the second half of 2018,” Ryan wrote.

“We are taking a conservative approach in releasing limited premises back for resale as we want to ensure we have fully optimised and improved HFC connections on the nbn™ access network ahead of launching back at scale.”

NBN announced last month that it would end its freeze on HFC sales. NBN paused sales in November while it worked to address performance problems. The company has been employing machine learning techniques to help pre-emptively identify problems with HFC connections.

Ryan said that NBN has been two separate “tap up” and “tap down” streams of work to address HFC performance.

Tap up “includes everything on NBN Co’s side of the network, from the pit in the street right through to the exchanges that connect to the wider internet.” Tap down “essentially follows the cables from the pit in your street and into your home where HFC services on the nbn™ access network are delivered.”