Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Is there a business case for the National Broadband Network?

I made a model to calculate the value of NBN for the Business Case Inquiry, using an online calculator(JavaScript) called an Observable Notebook.
See introduction to Observable Notebooks at: https://beta.observablehq.com/@mbostock/five-minute-introduction

I had a class in Feb at Melb Uni which showed these HTML sliders controlling the colour of a box; https://beta.observablehq.com/@maegul/basic-html-and-viewof-play and I thought it would be cool if you could make a model of NBN's finances and use a bunch of sliders to check out various scenarios eg

  • people leave NBN for mobile
  • people leave/stay with FTTN because too slow/good enough
  • when to replace FTTN with FTTC/FTTP (I ended up using two sliders. One to put $$$ aside to replace FTTN, as % of cash profit. The other is what to replace FTTN with, FTTC or FTTP or mix.)
So I wondered with a bunch of sliders, say six, could you model 100M possible scenarios.

As I say in my submission:
This submission introduces an online model which describes financial scenarios of NBN’s business over the next 20 years; including replacing FTTN with FTTC/FTTP, repaying debt, upgrading to gigabit services and the potential fallout of not replacing FTTN, to calculate NBN’s financial value under these different possible futures.

Figure 1. NBN Cashflow graph and four sliders.

Here the Observable model is - NBN Financials from 2021 on. The model rates a Base Case value of NBN at $31B. https://beta.observablehq.com/@areff2000/nbn-financials-from-2021-on-v5a-verbose-off

I was so rushed getting it finished, and 5pp summary(see figshare link) for NBN inquiry, didn’t think to share here, at Whirlpool, for comment. I should have.

Here is the link to the version with explanations; https://beta.observablehq.com/@areff2000/nbn-financials-from-2021-v5-on

Key findings of the model

  • NBN cash profit(EBITDA) after 2021 $2.44B per year
  • can afford to replace FTTN In 6-8 yrs depending on FTTC/FTTP, if not repaying debt
  • each loss 1% of customers worth $1B in NBN value
  • gigabit services can add $20B to NBN value
  • FTTN replacement pays for itself if 30% of FTTN users upgrade to gigabit
  • customer satisfaction has big impact on NBN value
  • where gigabit costs 2* avg ARPU...but higher margin...
  • Model suggests NBN will have enough $$$ to replace FTTN, if don’t have to repay debt urgently. Otherwise run into FTTN end of life and possible loss of customers...
Disclaimer; model had no tax, interest, inflation, price rises, but was built in four weeks, so there you go. The next thing I would add would be interest on debt, and a slider for the rate, to add a time dimension/penalty to the replacement of FTTN.

Any comments, as usual, appreciated.

Twitter mention: https://twitter.com/valuemgmt/status/979110826643660800?s=21

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