NBN Co, the public-private operator overseeing the construction and management of the National Broadband Network (NBN), has announced that it has finalised the construction contract that will see Tasmania become the first state where the new fibre infrastructure has been rolled out in its entirety. Under the terms of the contract, Visionstream Australia, part of the Leighton Holdings Limited group of companies, has been selected to replace copper telephone lines with the high speed fibre optic broadband network in cities, towns and suburbs covering around 200,000 homes and businesses; the four-year design, construction and maintenance contract is valued at around AUD300 million (USD314 million), and contains an option for renewal over each of the following two years.
Commenting on the development, NBN Co’s Chief Operations Officer, Ralph Steffens, noted: ‘It’s appropriate that the state that was the first to be connected to the NBN will be the first where the rollout will be complete. It will give Tasmania a head start to be able to take advantage of this transformative infrastructure for the nation’s future.’
In announcing the contract, NBN Co also confirmed the current status of the network rollout in Tasmania. Having previously announced plans to roll out the new infrastructure to some 91,300 homes and businesses in the region, of those the NBN is currently being rolled out to an area covering 11,300 premises in the state. Further, the network is already up and running in an area covering 4,000 premises in Smithton, Scottsdale and Midway Point, of which almost 700 have already signed up to use services offered over the NBN.