NBN deployment underway thanks to $1.5 billion deals

  • To build in NSW, QLD and ACT
  • NBN Wireless to provide 12 Mbps speed
  • Fixed line services sign deal with Telstra worth $11bn

NBN Co, the company responsible for the construction of the National Broadband Network (NBN), has signed two contracts yesterday worth almost $1.5 billion. This will lead the way for large-scale deployment of NBN infrastructure across Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT.

Thanks to a 10-year contract worth $1.1 billion with Swedish mobile network giant Ericsson, Australians in rural and regional areas who cannot access the NBN will have access to fixed-wireless 4G broadband by 2015. The wireless technology will offer residents speeds of up to 12Mbps.

NBN Co Head of Corporate Services, Kevin Brown said: "Those receiving our fixed-wireless service will benefit from the latest 4G fixed-wireless technology, LTE. While wireless spectrum is shared between users, unlike a mobile network, fixed-wireless will allow us to plan a network for a more predictable number of users in a given area. This gives us greater consistency in the speed and quality of service the NBN Co network will provide to each user," Mr Brown said.

The other contract which was signed with construction firm Silcar, will see 400,000 properties connected via the fibre-optic cables over the next two years.

Mr Brown said: "We have always said we would strive to deliver the best possible deal and achieve the lowest cost for taxpayers. Having reached this position, we have every reason to believe we will bring in the remaining locations across Australia at acceptable prices and on very competitive terms.

"We selected Silcar based on objective criteria, and on their performance in the field as the construction company responsible for the rollout in the Armidale First Release Site.”
The deal with Silcar is worth $380 million, with the potential of an optional two additional years at an added $740 million.

NBN Co is still awaiting an agreement with Telstra worth $11 billion, which would involve decommissioning Telstra’s copper network and cable broadband services. Mr Brown said he expected the deal to be finalised in the coming weeks.