Telstra wins deal to deploy Fibre for NBN


Australian carrier Telstra and the organisation responsible for the country’s next generation broadband network, NBN Co, on Thursday said they had reached an agreement to pilot the planning, design and construction of 1000 nodes across Queensland and New South Wales, ahead of an anticipated large scale integration of Fibre-to-the-Node (FTTN) technology into the National Broadband Network (NBN).

The deal is thought to be worth in the region of A$150m and will connect around 200,000 homes and businesses by marrying fibre optic cables with Telstra’s copper lines in a streetside node cabinet to deliver fast broadband.

The areas covered by the pilot are parts of: Bribie Island, Warner and Caboolture in the Moreton Bay region; and Bundaberg and Gympie in the Wide Bay-Burnett region. Belmont, Boolaroo, Morisset and Hamilton in the Hunter Region; and Gorokan on the Central Coast. NBN Co will also expand its FTTN build pilot activity in Woy Woy on the Central Coast.

NBN Co CEO Bill Morrow said: “This is a progressive step in the evolution of the NBN. It shows we are determined to get on with the job of delivering fast and reliable broadband to Australians while wider negotiations with Telstra continue.

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“The extensive pilot program we’re announcing today will deliver valuable insights into how to build a sustainable and consistent program of work that allows the industry to ramp up and deploy the FTTN element of the NBN at scale.”

This latest agreement represents the second phase of FTTN build activity. The first phase involved the construction of small scale FTTN sites in Umina in the Central Coast in and Epping in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.

Morrow, ex-CEO of Vodafone Australia was appointed CEO at NBN Co at the start of this year.

The national wholesale network rollout has been hit by multiple delays for various reasons. Australian communications minister Malcolm Turnbull was previously critical of the NBN board in complaining that none of its members had any previous telco experience and that they did not do enough to rein in network costs and correct the mistakes that were being made. He ultimately called for the board to tender resignations, resulting in the appointment of Morrow.



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