NBN Co awards major rollout contracts

Dylan Bushell-Embling
02 Jun 2011

Australia's NBN Co has handed out more National Broadband Network rollout deals, while the government has made progress splitting up Telstra for its participation in the project.

NBN Co yesterday announced it had awarded construction company Silcar a deal worth up to A$1.1 billion ($1.2 billion) for the first large-scale deployment of fiber for the NBN.

Silcar, a 50/50 joint venture between Siemens and a unit of Australian mining construction and services company Theiss, will deploy fiber in the states of Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT.

NBN Co, the state-owned company set up to conduct the NBN rollout, called off a construction tender for the project in April. Every participant had submitted higher bids than the company had been prepared to accept.

Head of corporate services Kevin Brown said the deal with Silcar was in line with its original targets. “Having reached this position, we have every reason to believe we will bring in the remaining locations across Australia at acceptable prices and on competitive terms,” he said.

He said negotiations for the remaining deals are now underway.

Ericsson has meanwhile won a deal also worth up to $1.1 billion to supply the fixed-wireless broadband portion of the network.

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