Australia's NBN Co, the entity building a national wholesale-only open access network, so far rolled-out in areas passing 18,200 premises nationwide - three sites in Tasmania and five mainland First Release sites, has finalised the construction contract that will see Tasmania become the first state in Australia where the National Broadband Network will be rolled out in its entirety.
Visionstream Australia, part of the Leighton Holdings group of companies, has been awarded the contract to replace copper lines with fibre in cities, towns and suburbs covering around 200,000 homes and businesses. The four-year design, construction and maintenance contract is valued at approximately A$300 million, with an option for renewal over the following two years.
Under already announced plans, the NBN is being rolled-out to 91,300 Tasmanian homes and businesses and the network is up and running in an area covering 4,000 premises of which close to 700 are using NBN services. Locations outside the reach of fibre will be served by satellite or 4G fixed-wireless services, the latter sub-contracted to Ericsson, due for completion in 2015.
In other NBN news, it has been widely reported that Huawei, seeking to secure a supply contract worth up to A$1 billion with NBN, has been blocked from tendering by the government based on advice from the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO).
Huawei Australia has established relationships with a number of large operators in the country, including Telstra, Optus, AAPT, Primus Telecom and Internode, and is active in local social community projects.
Elsewhere in the region, Huawei Marine Networks is deploying a new cable system between Perth and Singapore for ASSC-1 and Huawei Technologies has been successful in supplying New Zealand's Ultra-Fast Broadband project.
As part of its commitment to cyber security, Huawei has also established the Cyber Security Evaluation Centre in the UK to allow independent verification and certification of its products.