Networking integrator, Nextgen Networks, has won a $250 million tender for the Federal Government’s Regional Backbone Blackspots Program. The contract is the first regional building block for the National Broadband Network (NBN).
The tender will see the integrator build fibre optic cable networks from Toowoomba to Darwin, Perth to Geraldton, Shepparton through Mildura to Adelaide, Mildura to Broken Hill, Sale to Wonthaggi and Adelaide to Victor Harbour and then to Mount Barker. Broadband minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, announced the 6000km regional rollout as the first step in its NBN rollout last week.
The network infrastructure is expected to provide 395,000 people across 60 regional towns alternative fixed access broadband arrangements through the provision of ADSL2+ services once ISPs utilise the new backhaul services. The rollout will be completed within 18 months, with the first services to be turned on within 12 months.
Nextgen is owned by Leighton. In a statement, Leighton telecommunications division executive general manager, Peter McGrath, said construction would start shortly.
“We are excited to be taking on this important role that is a building block for delivering the NBN, and essential for providing immediate service outcomes to broadband users in regional Australia,” McGrath said in the release.