NBN Co, the public-private company set up to oversee the construction and management of Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN), has reportedly selected IBM as the prime systems integrator of its operational and business support systems. Under the terms of the three-year deal, which is worth approximately AUD200 million (USD205 million), IBM will deliver a system allowing ‘retail service providers to order new services, report faults or perform service qualification checks via business-to-business interfaces and/or portals designed to allow transparent and flexible management of their own services on the national broadband network’. In addition, it is understood that the systems will allow NBN Co to monitor the performance of its network and bill service providers.
In separate but related news, Australia’s lower house has passed into law two key pieces of legislation relating to the NBN, just a day after reports that the proposals had gained Senate approval. The two bills – the National Broadband Network Companies Bill 2010 and the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (NBN Measures — Access Arrangements) Bill 2010 – set out ownership, governance and sale arrangements for NBN Co, including a commitment by the state to eventually divest its stake in the company. The new legislation also sets out the access arrangements for NBN Co.