news NBN Co has inked deals with six delivery partners to deliver its growing broadband network to premises sitting within Telstra’s hybrid-fibre coaxial (HFC) cable footprint.
Following a contract sourcing process that NBN Co said was carried out over multiple stages, the firm has appointed Lend Lease, Broadspectrum, Fulton Hogan, Downer, ISGM and BSA to carry out the construction of the Telstra HFC portion of the NBN network.
The network expansion will leverage the existing copper Telstra cable TV network to take broadband to homes and businesses, enabling the NBN to be deployed “quickly and cost effectively” under the Coalition Government-prescribed ‘multi-technology mix’ (MTM) policy.
In HFC areas, the MTM is bringing fast broadband via optic fibre to the street, then legacy copper cable into the premises – a move that has been criticised by some for not ‘future-proofing’ Australia’s digital economy.
The existing HFC network will be upgraded to be able to achieve wholesale speeds up to 100Mbps download and 40Mbps upload.
“The NBN network is now available to more than 2.6 million homes and businesses around Australia,” said Peter Ryan, NBN Co’s Chief Network Engineering Officer. “With this additional work from our delivery partners, the HFC network will be deployed at scale to enable NBN to meet its 2020 targets.”
“With this process we have ensured the most appropriate delivery partners are doing the work. They have enormous experience in construction in the telecommunications industry which will help us roll it out faster,” Ryan said.
Under the HFC delivery agreement announced in April 2016, Telstra will manage the six delivery partners during the construction of the network within its HFC footprint “in close consultation with NBN,” said Ryan.
Telstra has this week launched an internal recruitment programme aimed to fulfil its workforce needs as the firm prepares for the upgrade its HFC network in preparation for the NBN expansion.
NBN has already launched its HFC broadband product on the network formerly owned by Optus in Redcliffe, Queensland, with customers being able to subscribe to the NBN network from June.
Image credit: NBN company