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NBN Co Limited
TypeGovernment-owned corporation
FoundedApril 2009 (2009-04)
Key people
ServicesWholesale data network
RevenueIncrease A$2.83 billion (2019)[2]
Decrease A$4.875 billion (2019)[2]
Total assetsIncrease A$32.757 billion (2019)[2]
Total equityDecrease A$7.337 billion (2019)[2]
OwnerAustralian Government
Number of employees
6400+ (2019)[2]

NBN Co Limited, known as simply nbn, is a publicly-owned corporation of the Australian Government, tasked to design, build and operate Australia's National Broadband Network as the nation's wholesale broadband provider. The corporation reports to two shareholder ministers: the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Communications.[3]


NBN Co was established on 9 April 2009 under the name of its company number, "A.C.N. 136 533 741 Limited".[4] After the establishment, the Australian Government started referring to the company as "National Broadband Network Company",[5] which became the de facto company name. It was officially named "NBN Co Limited" on 6 October 2009.[6][7][8][9] It traded as "NBN Co" until 26 April 2015 when it began trading simply as "nbn".[10]

In 2019, NBN Co announced that by May 2020[11] retail service providers will be able to pool all their connectivity virtual circuit (CVC) bandwidth nationally.

In February 2020, the company announced that 6.7 million homes and businesses were connected to a plan over the nbn access network – compared with 4.9 million in February 2019.[12]

NBN and retail service providers[edit]

As a wholesale provider of broadband access through its level two networks, NBN provides broadband access predominantly to retail service providers (RSPs); these businesses on sell access to end users; both residential and business customers to access the internet.

At 30 June 2016, Telstra had 45.5%, TPG group had 24.8% and Optus had 12.4% of all end users connecting to the NBN.[13]

There has been a significant failure of the NBN to deliver nominal performance to end users. There has been contention between RSPs and NBN on the reasons for this. Bill Morrow, then CEO of NBN, admitted in 2017 that 15% of end users received a poor service through the NBN and were 'seriously dissatisfied'.[14] In addition, Morrow indicated that, at July 2017, prices and performance for end users were suppressed through a 'price war' between RSPs.[15][16]

Contractual arrangements[edit]

NBN contracts mainly with RSPs to provide wholesale broadband access, with limited supply of backhaul to other organisations (for example providing backhaul services to Vodafone).[17]

National Broadband Network[edit]

Under the Gillard/Rudd governments' NBN Co corporate plan, it was estimated that the NBN construction would require A$27.5 billion in government equity and raise an estimated A$13.4 billion in debt funding without government support; a total funding requirement of A$40.9 billion up to FY2021. Financial forecasts for NBN Co assuming a 7% internal rate of return (IRR) expect the government and debt equity will be fully repaid including accrued interest by FY2040.[18] Following the election of the Abbott government, NBN Co reassessed financial forecasts and progress of the NBN roll-out and published a strategic review in December 2013.

In response to what the Abbott/Turnbull governments stated to be excessive performance specifications and costs they moved from a model which previously focused on FTTP (fibre to the premises) to a multi-technology mix[19] model using FTTx, including FTTP, FTTN (fibre to the node), FTTB (fibre to the building or basement) and most recently FTTdp (fibre to the distribution point); and HFC (hybrid fibre coaxial) in metropolitan areas. Regional and remote areas were mainly unchanged as a result of the strategic review and typically receive a service using either fixed wireless, using LTE technology, or satellite.

The NBN network, at 2017, draws together wired communication (copper, optical and hybrid fibre-coaxial) and radio communication (satellite and fixed wireless networks) at 121 points of interconnect typically located in Telstra owned telephone exchanges throughout Australia. It also sells access for mobile telecommunication backhaul to mobile telecommunications providers.[17]

NBN Co has stated that there is no significant demand for wired connections above 25 Mbit/s and consideration of upgrading the network will not be undertaken until demand for high-bandwidth services is proven.[20]

In August 2019, Stephen Rue (CEO), Announced the completion of the $51 billion National Broadband Network by June 2020.[21]

Corporate structure[edit]

Below is the management structure of NBN Co at 10 January 2020[22]

Chief Executive Officer
Stephen Rue
Chief Legal Counsel
Justin Forsell
Chief Strategy & Transformation Officer
Will Irving
Chief Customer Officer – Business
Paul Tyler
Chief Customer Officer – Residential
Brad Whitcomb
Chief People & Culture Officer
Sally Kincaid
Chief Corporate Affairs Officer
Felicity Ross
Acting Chief Network Engineering Officer
John Parkin
Chief Network Deployment Officer
Kathrine Dyer
Chief Financial Officer
Philip Knox[23]
Chief Information Officer
Debbie Taylor


  • Ziggy SwitkowskiChairman[24]
  • Stephen Rue - Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer from 18 September 2018 (Chief Financial Officer from July 2014 until appointment as MD)[25]
  • Drew Clarke – Non-executive director (from 22 August 2017 for a three-year term)[26]
  • Patrick Flannigan – Non-executive director[24]
  • Shirley In’t Veld – Non-executive director[24]
  • Michael Malone - Non-executive director (from 20 April 2016)[27]
  • Zoe McKenzie – Non-Executive Director (1 July 2018 – 30 June 2021)[28]
  • Justin Milne – Non-executive director[24]
  • Kerry Schott – Non-executive director[24]

Former directors[edit]

  • Bill Morrow – Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer to 18 September 2018[24]
  • Mike Quigley – Interim Chairman and a director of NBN Co 24 July 2009 – 15 March 2010, Director 15 March 2010 – 3 October 2013.[29]
  • Simon Hackett – Non-executive director[24]
  • Alison Lansley – Non-executive director[24]


At the end of June 2016, NBN Co had over 5,000 employees.[2]

By December 2018 the company had 6,850 employees and temporary staff[30]


  1. ^ "NBN Co Limited". Australian Government Directory. Australian Government. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f NBN Co (1 April 2020). "Full Year Results" (PDF). Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  3. ^ NBN Co. NBN Co Annual Report 2010 (PDF) (Report). NBN Co. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 May 2012. Retrieved 22 March 2012.
  4. ^ NBN Co Limited, National names index, Australian Securities and Investments Commission, archived from the original on 9 October 2011, retrieved 2 June 2011
  5. ^ LeMay, Renai; Tindal, Suzanne (7 April 2009), NBN company established, looks for CEO, ZDNet, retrieved 1 June 2011
  6. ^ LeMay, Renai (7 October 2009), It's official: 'NBN Co. Ltd' is the name, ZDNet, retrieved 1 June 2011
  7. ^ Beer, Stan (7 April 2009), NBN to make 49% up for grabs but who wants it?, iTWire, retrieved 1 June 2011
  8. ^ Tindal, Suzanne (1 May 2009), NBN company constitution revealed, ZDNet, retrieved 1 June 2011
  9. ^ LeMay, Renai (30 April 2009), NBN company details hard to find, ZDNet, retrieved 1 June 2011
  10. ^ Ramli, David (25 April 2015), "NBN Co spends $700,000 to drop 'Co'", Sydney Morning Herald, retrieved 27 April 2015
  11. ^ "NBN Co to allow internet providers to pool CVC nationally". iTnews. Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  12. ^ "NBNco progress Updated February 2020".
  13. ^ Ry Crozier, (22 September 2016), Three ISPs take 83 percent of NBN market, itnews. Retrieved 4 August 2017
  14. ^ Michael Smith & Tony Boyd, (24 July 2017), NBN to review pricing as part of image problem fix, Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 25 July 2017
  15. ^ Nick Whigham, (28 July 2017), NBN embarks on charm offensive to address confusion and complaints, news.com.au. Retrieved 29 July 2017
  16. ^ Ry Crozier, (31 July 2017), NBN Co boss declares war with internet providers: Blames ISPs for performance problems, ITNews. Retrieved 31 July 2017
  17. ^ a b Rohan Pearce, (3 February 2017), Vodafone first telco to use NBN for mobile coverage boost, Computerworld. Retrieved 9 March 2017
  18. ^ NBN Corporate Plan (PDF) (Report). NBN Co. 17 December 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 March 2012. Retrieved 22 March 2012.
  19. ^ Turnbull, Malcolm. "NBN Co to roll out new multi-technology mix".
  20. ^ Lucy Battersby, 1 March 2017 Gigabit per second speeds aren't needed yet, NBN Co boss Bill Morrow says, The Age. Retrieved 1 March 2017
  21. ^ Ryan, senior business correspondent Peter (15 August 2019). "NBN chief rejects suggestions the project is a 'cut-price lemon', says it will be complete by mid-2020". ABC News. Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  22. ^ nbn: Corporate information: Our people: Executive biographies. Retrieved 10 January 2020
  23. ^ from 6 February 2019, Ry Crozier, (30 January 2019), NBN Co finds its new CFO, itnews Retrieved 30 January 2019
  24. ^ a b c d e f g h "nbn Australia's broadband network Annual Report 2015-16" (PDF). www.nbnco.com.au. nbn™. 20 September 2016. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  25. ^ Stephen Rue page at NBN. Accessed 15 October 2018
  26. ^ Tom McIlroy, (15 August 2017), Malcolm Turnbull's former chief of staff Drew Clarke named to NBN Co board, Canberra Times. Retrieved 15 August 2017
  27. ^ Tucker, Harry (22 April 2016). "Former iiNet CEO and founder Michael Malone has joined the NBN board". Business Insider Australia. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  28. ^ Zoe McKenzie page at NBN. Accessed 15 October 2018
  29. ^ "NBN Co Annual Report 2013-14" (PDF). www.nbnco.com.au. NBN Co. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  30. ^ "NBNco Annual Report 2018" (PDF).

External links[edit]