NBN Co, the public-private company set up to oversee the construction and management of Australia’s in-deployment National Broadband Network (NBN) has announced that rollout of the new fibre infrastructure will get underway shortly in Western Australia and Victoria. The announcement coincides with NBN’s announcemet that it has signed two separate agreements with major national construction companies for the network deployment in the two respective regions; Transfield Services has been selected for work in Victoria, while Syntheo, the Lend Lease/Service Stream joint venture, will construct infrastructure in Western Australia for the project. Both agreements, NBN noted, cover fibre design and construction activities in the respective states over an initial period of two years, with options to extend the contracts for two further years. The value of the initial agreement with Transfield was cited as being approximately AUD133 million (USD140 million), with a potential value of up to AUD395 million if the deal is extended by the full two year period. The contract with Syntheo meanwhile is valued at around AUD174 million, with a potential value of up to AUD484 million if extended to the full possible term.
According to NBN Co, the signing of the two deals will ‘spur the rollout of another six of the 19 Second Release Sites previously announced by NBN Co, namely new sites in Geraldton, Victoria Park and Mandurah, Western Australia, and in Bacchus Marsh and South Morang, Victoria, as well as the extensions to the existing site in Brunswick.’ Work is expected to be undertaken on a rolling schedule, and with NBN Co having released an anticipated work schedule, Geraldton is listed as the first site at which the rollout will begin next month.
Commenting on the development, NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley said: ‘Signing these two agreements to expand construction capacity means the rollout of the NBN now begins in earnest in Victoria and Western Australia. NBN Co is gearing up to meet the challenge of passing 6,000 homes a day when at full capacity … [The] announcement builds on other recent achievements, such as the completion of works in the five First Release mainland sites, the testing of the network in those locations, the launch of our Interim Satellite Service in July and the beginning of our AUD1.1 billion fixed wireless project in June.’