Telstra signs $1.6b deal with nbn to upgrade HFC cable network

By @chelean on
A NBN Co. worker holds a fibre-optic cable used in the National Broadband Network in west Sydney July 11, 2013.
A NBN Co. worker holds a fibre-optic cable used in the National Broadband Network in west Sydney July 11, 2013. Reuters/Daniel Munoz

Telsta has signed a deal with the nbn, the company building and operating Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN), worth $1.6 billion. The contract will see the country’s largest telco carrying out the design and part of the construction of the existing Telstra Hybrid Fibre-Coaxial (HFC) footprint.

The deal, announced Monday morning, is expected to continue until the end of the nbn deal in 2020. Telstra will be responsible for the design and planning for the improvement of the HFC network, upgrading it to deliver faster speed.

Since the two parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding and Letter of Intent last year, Telstra has already started some of the works to support the building the nbn network in the existing HFC footprint. This work includes preparing nbn exchange locations and HFC planning and design work.

“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,” nbn CEO Bill Morrow said in a statement.

“Telstra has enormous experience in HFC design and construction, and the rollout will be greatly assisted by having them as a key partner in the delivery of this part of the network.”

The agreement aims to accelerate the deployment of the nbn network. The construction, undertaken by Telstra, will be split in two areas. The field construction activities will be largely performed by the Multi-technology Integrated Master Agreement (MIMA) partners, while in-exchange construction activities and limited upstream in-field activities will be performed by Telstra.

“Telstra has a long and proud history in network construction and we believe we will bring great expertise to this important part of the nbn network. We are already mobilising our workforce to ensure we support nbn in their roll out schedule,” Telstra CEO Andrew Penn said. “We look forward to working with nbn on this significant program of work, helping to bring the nbn network to millions of homes and businesses.”