NBN Co, the public-private company set up to oversee the construction and management of Australia’s in-deployment National Broadband Network (NBN) has unveiled a list of the sites that the new infrastructure is expected to reach in its second phase of rollout. According to iTWire, the NBN’s ‘Second Release Sites’ will see preliminary work started across nine locations from this month, although with plans to connect up to 30,000 premises the overall rollout will be staggered. Coffs Harbour and Armidale in New South Wales (NSW) are to be the first locations where work will get underway this month.
The announcement comes on the back of NBN Co’s revelation in June 2011 that, as previously reported by CommsUpdate, it had signed a deal which it claimed would enable it to ‘prepare for the first large-scale deployment of optic fibre’ for the nationwide infrastructure. At that date NBN Co reached an agreement related to terms and prices for construction of part of the network with Silcar, a 50/50 joint venture between Germany-based electrical engineering and electronics giant Siemens and Thiess Services, a 100% owned subsidiary of Thiess Pty Ltd, Australia’s largest mining construction and services company. Over an initial two-year period the deal, which is worth AUD380 million (USD406 million) with an option to add a further two years to the agreement at an additional value of AUD740 million, will see Silcar roll out the fibre network in Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). NBN Co noted at the time that the deal represented around 40% of the construction work that it expects to take place over the next two years, with nine of the 19 NBN Second Release Sites previously announced by NBN Co covered under the agreement.
Commenting on the latest development, Mike Quigley, NBN CEO, said: ‘The signing of the Definitive Agreement with Telstra – though yet to be approved by shareholders – together with the finalisation of the construction contract with Silcar, has allowed us to finalise the proposed schedule for the next round of construction in mainland Australia … Our intention is to release a 12-month schedule, including new rollout sites, in the near future.’
The locations and dates for preliminary site works to start on the NBN infrastructure are: Coffs Harbour and Armidale (NSW), August 2011; Townsville (Queensland) and Kiama township and Jamberoo (NSW), September 2011; Tooowoomba (Queensland) and Gungahlin (ACT), October 2011; Riverstone (NSW) and Goodna/Springfield Lakes (Queensland), November 2011; and Aspely/Brisband metropolitan area, December 2011.