NBN Co releases new rollout schedule

NBN Co this morning released a schedule for the beginning of works on second release sites across New South Wales, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory.

Since July last year, work has been underway on the first mainland NBN locations spread across New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia. However with the first five mainland NBN sites nearing completion, NBN Co have today revealed work will begin on the first of 14 second release sites — most of which are situated near the first release locations — later this month.

Work will start in Armidale and Coffs Harbour, New South Wales before the end of the month, before progressing to Townsville in Queensland and the New South Wales suburbs of Jamberoo and Kiama during September. Toowoomba, Queensland and Gungahalin, Australian Capital Territory, will follow in October, while work in Riverstone, New South Wales and the Goodna and Springfield area in Queensland will start sometime in November.

Work will only begin in just one suburb in December, namely Aspley, which is situated in metropolitan Brisbane.

NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley said amongst other factors, the signing of the Definitive Agreement regarding long-term infrastructure leasing arrangements with Telstra last month has allowed the organisation to move forward and begin planning the second stage sites.

The signing of a new construction deal last month with Silcar covering New South Wales, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory has also allowed the group to begin planning for work in the three states and is the reason why Victorian and Northern Territory sites aren’t included in the time schedule.

“The signing of the Definitive Agreement with Telstra… together with the finalisation of the construction contract with Silcar, has allowed us to finalise the proposed schedule for the next round of construction in mainland Australia,” Quigley said in a statement. “The plan is to continue the rollout by extending from the places where we have started in the First and Second Release sites, as well as add other sites as planning progresses.”

NBN Co estimates suggest it’ll take around 12 months to go from the start of construction to connecting the first customers at each of the second release sites. Also according to Quigley, NBN Co will “in the near future” release a roadmap detailing the roll-out schedule for the next 12 months including the addition of a number of new sites.

“The use of Telstra’s infrastructure, where it is available, should reduce the amount of disruption for the community and provide a smoother and more efficient rollout,” he said. Negotiations are continuing for construction companies in Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Image credit: NBN Co


  1. can’t wait for Telstra to release the EM and see shareholders’ reaction. given the shifting political winds, the wiser bet now is to REJECT the deal.

    • I highly doubt that Telstra shareholders will reject it at this point — too much work has gone into it, and the cash payments they will receive will be too attractive ;)

      • I agree, the Telstra copper has to be replaced at some point, might as well let the sucker taxpayer wear the risk and the on going losses on ACCC set pricing through to the privatisation, let the BigPond juggernaut flog NBN plans at cost if need be to get even more market share! and concentrate on where the high ARPU is, wireless data, Telstra LTE will make a killing.

      • i presume large blocks of Telstra stock are held by institutional investors — i have no idea how they will vote but if i recall correctly, some of them were outraged when the deal was first announced. basically, if you believe Labor will win the next two elections and will keep pouring money into NBNco regardless of cost-blowouts and service take-up, then it’s in Telstra’s interest to sign the deal. otherwise, Telstra should ride it out for another 2 years or so….. because MT has already signalled in his speech to CEDA that he will terminate the Telstra/Optus deals and allow a structurally-separated Telstra to build FTTN with some subsidies for expanding the footprint into non-metropolitan areas.

        • The shareholders won’t get any favours from MT, tosh. If Telstra investors chooses to oppose the deal, then the Govt goes back to Plan A – do it alone. That leave Telstra with an outdated infrastructure base, large ongoing maintenance bills and nothing whatsoever to show for it.

          I really doubt the investors are interested in making a political stand – they want the best return for their money, and that is all. This deal looks like putting some good revenue on the table, and means Telstra doesn’t need to spend a huge amount of capital on doing all he upgrade work themselves.

          • The Government cannot do it alone, the crucial part of the Telstra deal is Telstra customers coming across to the NBN, the NBN is not even remotely viable until the Telstra and Optus fixed line networks are shut down and their customers are forced onto to the NBN.

            But you are right Telstra shareholders probably don’t want to make a political stand, they might make a financial stand, depends on what the share price does in the next 3 months.

          • *The shareholders won’t get any favours from MT, tosh.*

            well, MT still believes in “structural separation” which is “bad” for Telstra in terms of product/price flexibility. look at the problems NBNco is having “catering” to 1/ small ISPs with small subscriber bases, 2/ businesses which require “CVC volume discounts”, etc, due to the “structural separation” straight-jacket.

            also, MT is talking about “utility-like returns” for the structurally-separated “networks” business. depending on how you define “utility returns” — this is also potentially “bad” for Telstra. however, bear in mind that, as long as Telstra controls the copper, they still have the biggest bargaining chip on the telco table.

            the fact is, despite all the NBNco/Alcatel/fibre marketing and political propaganda, any future viable upgrade of the fixed-line comms infrastructure will necessarily revolve around FTTN/copper. so, at the end of the day, (as he has already flagged himself) MT will eventually have to renegotiate with Telstra to access the copper to build FTTN — the simplest method will be just to allow Telstra to build FTTN itself in the metropolitan areas and subsidise FTTN in non-metro.

            paying billions more to access Telstra’s copper, overseeing the NBNco bureaucracy in building FTTN and then privatising NBNco is just overly-complicated, expensive and unnecessary. just let Telstra do it — they have the assets, the management expertise and the industry nous.

            of course, the biggest stumbling block will be coming to an agreement with Telstra and the ACCC over the level of the “utility-like returns” needed to incentivise Telstra to build FTTN. difficult but not impossible task. certainly, broadband will be much much more affordable with FTTN than FTTP. (NBNco is just disguising the real costs of accessing FTTP in order to grease the ADSL/fibre transition by backloading revenue into the future — “postponing bankruptcy”.)

            *If Telstra investors chooses to oppose the deal, then the Govt goes back to Plan A – do it alone.*

            the real value of the $11bln Telstra deal is the “fixed network preference” or “customer migration” component. without that deal, NBNco’s business plan or strategy completely falls apart.

            *That leave Telstra with an outdated infrastructure base, large ongoing maintenance bills and nothing whatsoever to show for it.*

            1/ as compared to NBNco, Telstra would have the far superior fixed network from the perspective of cost competitiveness — losing a couple of ADSL subscribers suffering from “broadband blackspots” to NBNco 12/1 plans is a trivial matter;

            2/ Telstra’s supposedly “large maintenance bills” would be completely dwarfed by NBNco’s MASSIVE $50bln CAPITAL SERVICING BURDEN.

            *I really doubt the investors are interested in making a political stand – they want the best return for their money, and that is all. This deal looks like putting some good revenue on the table, and means Telstra doesn’t need to spend a huge amount of capital on doing all he upgrade work themselves.*

            the best outcome for Telstra would be if it was allowed to build FTTN. firstly, the NBN is bad for Telstra and the whole industry because you’re pushing everyone up onto a ridiculously high cost base due to indiscriminate laying of fibre to every residential premise. (no other country in the world is doing this.)

            secondly, by turning off the copper network and shifting customers onto NBNco fibre, Telstra loses its ability to control the “wholesale costs” for the fixed-line services they provide. this is strategically VERY BAD for their business. they are held hostage to silly, bureaucratic investment policies made by a lumbering government monopoly.

            bottomline, being able to spend your own capital upgrading your own network in the manner you see fit is a massive strategic advantage because it means you can control your input costs. this NBNco deal is unambiguously bad for Telstra.

            given the shifting political winds and MT’s stated intention to let Telstra build FTTN, the wise move for shareholders is to REJECT the deal completely. there’s no point in agreeing to the deal, only to have the new Minister presiding over DBCDE renegotiate the deal two years down the track. just sit tight, wear the (Labor) political heat for 24 months and watch NBNco’s business plan implode.

          • If Telstra shareholders want their shares to start recuperating, they should vote for the NBN deal.

            Seriously imo, anyone who believes that voting the current NBN deal down and hoping for a change of government, is delusional or a political stooge.

            Telstra shares would immediately be tanked (remembering the next election is still years away) and would remain that way for years. Plus of course, anything can happen politically, in the interim, as witnessed by the Rudd (political) assassination and just go back to March, when Abbott was polling as Gillard is now…

            Also rejecting one of the biggest deals in Telstra’s history, a deal which is being totally supported and recommended by Telstra’s management/board, would equate to a vote of no confidence in management and would surely necessitate the complete resignations of all management/board members.

            Did I hear $1 Telstra shares? But whatever, Lib servant…LOL!

  2. Does this new schedule mean Brisbane’s Inner North has been pushed back? The maps still on NBNCo’s website for the second release don’t go anywhere near Aspley – more importantly, the old (?) maps cover me!

    • Gav, I’d hazzard a guess that since the original phase 2 maps showed the Inner North including Albion, Ascot,etc, which already have 2 HFC cables and not much in the way of RIMs, has been silently ditched in favour of Aspley which is a RIM hell on earth. Also it is a marginal Labor Seat by coincidence, held by Yvette D’Arth. Read into that whatever you want for I guess it depends on one’s cynicism to decide.

      • In regards to the politics of it, about 1/3 of the Aspley exchange area is actually in Wayne Swan’s electorate of Lilley. Only about 2300 votes were cast at the Aspley polling places for Petrie in the last election. Over 5000 votes were cast at the Aspley polling places for Lilley. In these 6 polling places, the 2PP vote tended towards the LNP candidates rather than Labor. D’Ath would need a 2PP swing against her of 2000 votes to lose, and a 5% swing against her in Aspley would only lose 100 votes.

        • Well that makes it the RIMs the catalyst for prioritisations. Fair enough that those dumped into Broadband hell should get NBN first.

  3. This has to be THE most glacial rollout of any national infrastructure I have ever seen. At this rate I won’t see the NBN for another 15 years. I’ll probably be retired or dead by then.

  4. Is this the NBN or the ECBN (East Coast Broadband Network)?

    Will there be ANY homes connected to fibre in WA before the next election? I wouldn’t put any money on it at this rate.

    • Since there are only about 3 Labor voters in WA (and they aren’t going to make any difference) I don’t think WA shows up on the federal radar (except when looking for ways to tax them harder).

    • Well there certainly won’t be, after the next election, if Tel’s party get’s in…LOL!

  5. One freaking suburb man! I live one suburb east of Aspley and of course NBN Co are ignoring my pleas to do it instead! Actually, they didn’t ignore them, they apologised for not being able to ;)

    Hopefully though this puts me in position to get it early in the roll out when they start expanding outward from the test areas though.

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