NBN Co awards fibre-optic cabling, hardware contracts worth AUD1.6 billion

18 Jan 2011

NBN Co, the public-private company set up to oversee the construction of Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN), has signed a trio of deals with cable and hardware manufacturers as it presses forward with the rollout of its infrastructure. According to The Australian, the three contracts that NBN Co has signed are worth more than AUD1.6 billion (USD1.59 billion), with the largest agreement in terms of fiscal value handed to US-based Corning Cable Systems. Under a five-year deal, worth around AUD1.2 billion, Corning will supply fibre-optic cables for the network, while Italian firm Prysmian also inked a five-year contract for fibre cable supply, worth up to AUD300 million. The latter has also revealed that in order to enhance its manufacturing and assembly capacity in Australia, it will invest around EUR10 million (USD12 million) to enhance its manufacturing facility in Dee Why, having made a commitment to source around 80% of the value of its NBN contract locally. Victoria-based fibre-optic equipment manufacturer Warren & Brown Technologies meanwhile has been awarded an equipment contract worth up to AUD110 million over five years under which it will provide optical distribution frames and sub-racks that will connect NBN Co’s equipment to external cabling. Kim Carr, Australia’s Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, said of the deals: ‘The three successful companies combine significant global reputations for excellence with a demonstrable commitment to local manufacturing and skills development.’

NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley meanwhile has stated that the recent flooding in Queensland had not impacted on the company’s network development in the region, claiming that construction work has continued as normal. ‘In terms of the timeframe, we don’t expect too much of an impact … Things are proceeding in all five first-release sites. We’ve been affected by the weather a little in some areas – nothing disastrous … but overall things are going well,’ the executive noted.

Australia, NBN Co