Australia's Telstra and nbn, the company engaged in deploying a national broadband network, announced they have signed a new contract valued at approximately A$1.6 billion to provide planning, design, construction and construction management services within the existing Telstra hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) footprint.
The agreement covers works that are expected to continue until the end of the nbn broadband network build, which is currently expected to be in 2020, and specifically includes geographic areas within the Telstra HFC network footprint in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Perth and Adelaide. The agreement covers design and construction services for delivery of fast broadband to over 3 million homes within Telstra's HFC network.
Telstra will undertake all design, program management, construction management and scheduling activities for the project. The construction work will be split into two areas, with field construction activities to be largely be performed by nbn's multi-technology integrated master agreement (MIMA) partners and in-exchange construction activities and certain upstream in-field activities to be carried out by Telstra.
The multi technology mix (MTM) network architecture for Australia's broadband network will be implemented to deliver nbn broadband service in the areas covered by the existing Telstra HFC footprint, and is expected to primarily involve the HFC access technology.
Through the agreement, nbn is aiming to make an initial 10,000 HFC premises available for customer orders by the end June 2016.
Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Letter of Intent (LoI) signed by Telstra and nbn in late 2015, Telstra has undertaken certain early works to support the build out of the nbn network in the existing HFC footprint. This work has included preparing nbn exchange locations and HFC planning and design work.
In December last year, Telstra was awarded two new contracts as one of the network service and assurance providers to nbn and this work has already commenced. Telstra was also engaged to work with nbn on a 1,000-node trial that included FTTN design and construction work, as well as further design work under a planning and design services agreement.
Additionally, there have been successful trials on the Optus HFC network in Redcliffe, Queensland during which end users received trial speeds of up to 100 Mbit/s downstream/40 Mbit/s upstream.
Commenting on the new agreement, nbn CEO Bill Morrow noted, "The nbn network is now available to two million homes and businesses, with close to one million already connected… this deal will extend the nbn network to millions more, bringing new opportunity in education, health and online services to more families".