NBN Co, the public-private company set up to oversee the construction and management of Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN), says it has now ‘established a program of construction works to upgrade the telecommunication infrastructure in every state and territory of Australia’. The announcements comes as NBN Co revealed that Syntheo, a joint venture between Lend Lease Group and telecommunications and utilities builder and manager Service Stream, had secured the contract for the rollout of the fibre infrastructure in South Australia and the Northern Territory (NT). Syntheo has initially been handed a two-year contract worth around AUD141 million (USD145 million), although this is extendable by a further two years, which would take the value of the agreement to up to AUD341 million. This deal marks Syntheo’s second NBN-related agreement; as previously reported by CommsUpdate, in September 2011 it was selected for the network rollout in Western Australia.
Commenting on this latest development, Dan Flemming, NBN Co’s Head of Construction, noted: ‘This contract completes the picture for the NBN as we are now in a position to start rolling out the National Broadband Network in every state and territory across Australia … In fact, work in South Australia and the NT is already underway. We engaged contractors on a temporary basis for on-site design and other preliminary site works so Syntheo can hit the ground running.’
Last month NBN Co released its inaugural twelve-month construction outlook, detailing the communities in each state and territory where it expects to begin work by September 2012. The company unveiled 28 new locations, passing some 485,000 premises, where the rollout of the fibre-optic infrastructure will get underway over the course of the next year, while it also detailed those sites where construction had already begun. NBN Co has said that it expects to update the construction outlook on a quarterly basis, while it has also previously confirmed that early in 2012 it will issue a three-year indicative view of the network rollout, which will itself be updated annually until the NBN is complete. On average, NBN Co says it expects to take around a year from the start of the fibre network rollout in a given area until individuals are able to receive high-speed broadband services over the infrastructure.