NBN Co signs contracts to connect flats and units to the NBN


NBN Co is focussing specialist attention on the complex task of connecting flats and units to the National Broadband Network, signing contracts with two companies to begin the wide-scale rollout to multi-dwelling units (MDUs).

The contracts will enable NBN Co to begin rolling out the network to around 17,600 blocks of flats and units across four states and territories over the next two years.

NBN Co plans to enter into contracts for additional states progressively, beginning in the first quarter of next year, on the way to rolling out high-speed broadband access to every home, business, school and hospital in Australia.

The details of the contracts are as follows:

Downer EDI Limited, a leading Australian engineering and infrastructure management services company, has signed a contract for design and construction services covering a range of multi-dwelling units of different sizes over the next two years in NSW, Victoria and the ACT. The approximate value of the contract is up to $66 million.

Universal Communications Group Limited, based in Brisbane, has signed a contract for design and construction services covering a number of MDUs in Tasmania and metropolitan Sydney. The approximate value of the contract is up to $21 million over two years.

NBN Co Head of Network Operations, Leisel Ramjoo said: “We're taking a proactive approach to the rollout to apartments and flats both in terms of the design and construction and the engagement with owners' corporations.

"The complexity of the task is exacerbated by the fact that there is no single method of connecting MDUs. For instance, a big block with 50 or more units will require one solution, a small block of flats will need another, so it may be necessary to do a bespoke survey and design for most.

"Yet while MDUs may be different shapes and designs, the service requirements of residents are much the same. This means we can take the approach that when we notify an owners' corporation of our intention to cable their building, all premises in the building can be cabled up in anticipation that most people will want to retain a fixed-line telephone and internet service," said Ms Ramjoo.

So far NBN Co has rolled out the network to 237 residential MDUs across Australia, with work underway on a further 131.

Both contracts were signed following an extensive tender process.

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Notes to Editors

  • The design and construction services cover the rollout of fibre, typically from the local network in the street to the outside each individual unit in brownfield areas.
    • Residents will need to order a service from their service provider to trigger the installation of the network terminating device inside their unit.
  • To date, NB Co has contracted with four groups of contractors to perform the actual rollout of the local network through the street: Visionstream - Tasmania; Syntheo (a Lend Lease/Service Stream joint venture) NT, SA, WA; Transfield - Victoria; Silcar - NSW, Qld and the ACT.
  • The Government's objective is for NBN Co to rollout fibre optic broadband, designed to offer its Retail Service Provider customers wholesale download speeds of up to 100 megabits per second*, to 93 per cent of Australian premises by June 2021.
  • The remaining premises are expected to receive high-speed broadband via fixed-wireless or satellite, with the rollout of both services expected to be complete by 2015.
  • NBN Co is a wholesale company, and those wishing to switch their phone and internet to the National Broadband Network need to speak to their telephone or internet service provider. These are listed at www.nbnco.com.au/serviceproviders
  • For more information visit www.nbnco.com.au

*NBN Co is designing the NBN to be capable of delivering these speeds to NBN Co's wholesale customers (telephone and internet service providers). Speeds actually achieved by retail customers (end users) will depend on a number of factors including the quality of their equipment and in-premises connection, the broadband plans offered by their service provider and how their service provider designs its network to cater for multiple end users.

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NBN Co signs contracts to connect flats and units to the NBN
21 December 2012
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