Company:NBN Co

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Short description: Australian government broadband network provider
NBN Co Limited
TypeState-owned enterprise
FoundedApril 2009 (2009-04)
Key people
  • Stephen Rue, CEO
  • Kate McKenzie, Chair/Non-Executive Director
ServicesWholesale data network
RevenueIncrease A$5.1 billion (FY 2022)[2]
Total assetsIncrease A$36.771 billion (2022)[2]
OwnerAustralian Government
Number of employees
4600+ (2022)[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 Co developed a satellite internet program named Sky Muster aimed at rural areas. As of July 2023, $620 million had been invested.[13] However, the program experienced fierce competition from Starlink satellites. Sky Muster consists of two geosynchronous satellites orbiting over 35,000 km above Earth's surface, resulting in latency times around 600 ms (at 25 Mbps), compared to Starlink's latency of below 40 ms (for 100-200 Mbps).[14]

NBN and retail service providers

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.[15]

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'.[16] In addition, Morrow indicated that, at July 2017, prices and performance for end users were suppressed through a 'price war' between RSPs.[17][18]

Contractual arrangements

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).[19]

National Broadband Network

Under the Rudd and Gillard 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.[20] 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 and 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[21] 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 2022, 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.[19]

In February 2017, Bill Morrow (former CEO) 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.[22]

In August 2019, Stephen Rue (CEO), announced the completion of the $51 billion National Broadband Network by June 2020.[23] However, some service areas were still being rolled out in late 2020/2021 with FTTP to FTTN/FTTC premises.

Corporate structure

Below is the management structure of NBN Co at 30 September 2022[24]

Chief Executive Officer
Stephen Rue
[math]\displaystyle{ \downarrow }[/math] [math]\displaystyle{ \downarrow }[/math] [math]\displaystyle{ \downarrow }[/math] [math]\displaystyle{ \downarrow }[/math] [math]\displaystyle{ \downarrow }[/math] [math]\displaystyle{ \downarrow }[/math] [math]\displaystyle{ \downarrow }[/math] [math]\displaystyle{ \downarrow }[/math] [math]\displaystyle{ \downarrow }[/math] [math]\displaystyle{ \downarrow }[/math]
Chief Legal and Regulatory Officer
Jane van Beelen
Chief Strategy & Transformation Officer
Will Irving
Chief Customer Officer
Gavin Williams
Chief Development Officer – Regional and Remote
Gavin Williams
Chief People & Culture Officer
Sally Kincaid
Chief Corporate Affairs Officer
Felicity Ross
Chief Engineering Officer
John Parkin
Chief Operating Officer
Kathrine Dyer
Chief Financial Officer
Philip Knox[25]
Acting Chief Information Officer
Crispin Blackall


  • Kate McKenzie – Chair[26]
  • Stephen Rue – Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer from 18 September 2018 (Chief Financial Officer from July 2014 until appointment as MD)[27]
  • Drew Clarke – Non-executive director (from 22 August 2017 for a three-year term)[28]
  • Pam Bains – Non-executive director[29]
  • Nerida Caesar – Non-executive director[30]
  • Michael Malone – Non-executive director (from 20 April 2016)[31]
  • Andrew Dix – Non-executive director[32]
  • Nicole Lockwood – Non-executive director[33]
  • Elisha Parker – Non-executive director[34]

Former directors

  • Bill Morrow – Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer to 18 September 2018[35]
  • Mike Quigley – Interim Chairman and a director of NBN Co 24 July 2009 – 15 March 2010, Director 15 March 2010 – 3 October 2013.[36]
  • Simon Hackett – Non-executive director[37]
  • Alison Lansley – Non-executive director[38][39]
  • Shirley In't Veld – Non-executive director[40]
  • Zoe McKenzie – Non-executive director[41]
  • Dr Kerry Schott AO – Non-executive director[42]


At the end of June 2022, NBN Co had more than 4,600 employees.[43]

By December 2018 the company had 6,850 employees and temporary staff.[44]

At 30 June 2021, the company had 6,200 employees and contractors.[45] One year later in June 2022, its workforce had declined to 4,951.[46]


  1. "NBN Co Limited". Australian Government Directory. Australian Government. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 NBN Co (September 2022). "nbn Annual Report". 
  3. NBN Co. NBN Co Annual Report 2010 (Report). NBN Co. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  4. NBN Co Limited, National names index, Australian Securities and Investments Commission,, 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". 
  12. "NBNco progress Updated February 2020". 
  13. "NBN aims to match Elon Musk's Starlink but may have to write off $620m" (in en). 2023-07-05. 
  14. Biggs, Tim (2023-07-07). "Telstra's Starlink deal could signal a new era of connectivity in hard-to-reach places" (in en). 
  15. Ry Crozier, (22 September 2016), Three ISPs take 83 percent of NBN market, itnews. Retrieved 4 August 2017
  16. Michael Smith & Tony Boyd, (24 July 2017), NBN to review pricing as part of image problem fix, Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 25 July 2017
  17. Nick Whigham, (28 July 2017), NBN embarks on charm offensive to address confusion and complaints, Retrieved 29 July 2017
  18. Ry Crozier, (31 July 2017), NBN Co boss declares war with internet providers: Blames ISPs for performance problems, ITNews. Retrieved 31 July 2017
  19. 19.0 19.1 Rohan Pearce, (3 February 2017), Vodafone first telco to use NBN for mobile coverage boost, Computerworld. Retrieved 9 March 2017
  20. NBN Corporate Plan (Report). NBN Co. 17 December 2010. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  21. Turnbull, Malcolm. "NBN Co to roll out new multi-technology mix". 
  22. 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
  23. Ryan, Peter (2019-08-15). "NBN chief rejects suggestions the project is a 'cut-price lemon', says it will be complete by mid-2020" (in en-AU). 
  24. nbn: Corporate information: Our people: Executive biographies. Retrieved 30 September 2022
  25. from 6 February 2019, Ry Crozier, (30 January 2019), NBN Co finds its new CFO, itnews Retrieved 30 January 2019
  26. "Kate McKenzie biography". nbn™. 30 September 2022. 
  27. Stephen Rue page at NBN. Accessed 15 October 2018
  28. 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
  29. "Pam Bains biography". nbn™. 30 September 2022. 
  30. "Nerida Caesar biography". nbn™. 30 September 2022. 
  31. Tucker, Harry (22 April 2016). "Former iiNet CEO and founder Michael Malone has joined the NBN board". Business Insider Australia. 
  32. "Andrew Dix biography". nbn™. 30 September 2022. 
  33. "Nicole Lockwood biography". nbn™. 30 September 2022. 
  34. "Elisha Parker biography". nbn™. 30 September 2022. 
  35. "Bill Morrow biography". nbn™. 
  36. "NBN Co Annual Report 2013-14". NBN Co. 
  37. "Simon Hackett biography". nbn™. 
  38. "Alison Lansley biography". nbn™. 
  39. "Govt appoints corporate laywer Alison Lansley to NBN Co board". The Australian. 
  40. "Shirley In't Veld appointed to nbn™ Board" (in en-AU). 
  41. "Appointment of NBN Co Limited non-executive Director".;query=Id:%22media/pressrel/6048281%22. 
  42. "Dr Kerry Schott AO reappointed to NBN Co Limited Board". 
  43. "NBNco Annual Report 2022". 
  44. "NBNco Annual Report 2018". 
  45. "NBNco Annual Report 2020". 
  46. "NBNco Annual Report 2021". 

External links