NBN Co has announced the three companies that will supply hardware equipment to the $35.9 billion National Broadband Network.
Of the three companies Victorian-based provider, Warren & Brown, was the only Australian company and won a five-year contract worth $110 million. Italian firm, Prysmian, and US optic fibre manufacturer, Corning Cable Systems, are the biggest winners scoring contracts worth $300m and $1.2 billion over five years.
According to a statement from NBN Co, Prysmian and Corning both have major local investments with plans to expand their manufacturing bases in Australia.
Prysmian has won an initial purchase order of $150m while Corning has an initial purchase order of $400m.
“Corning will invest approximately $25m in its Clayton, Melbourne facility, related equipment and personnel training and expects to create an additional 300 to 400 jobs at the location,” it said.
“Pyrsmian will bring to Australia for the first time the ability to manufacture high volumes of specialised ‘ribbon’ fibre optice cables,” it added. “This will require a direct investment in additional plant and equipment of up to $13m.”
Warren & Brown technologies marketing officer, Ben Ciardullo, said the deal was the company’s “biggest moment” since its formation. It will meet with NBN Co over the next few weeks to negotiate the equipment needed with an initial purchase of $50m already established.
“It’s been a lot of hard work and we’ve been waiting for this for a long time,” he said. “We’ve got about 60 employees and we’ll want to (expand) into the hundreds easily…depending on how quick the roll-out is.
“Initially we’ll want to about 20 more in the first few months…this puts us on the world map to take things to the next level and a lot more people in the industry will take more notice of us.”
Warren & Brown will be supplying the optical distribution frames and sub-racks used in the Fibre Access Node (FAN) sites in telephone exchanges around the country.
Corning, which already supplies fibre optic cabling to the Tasmanian NBN, will do so on a national basis with a special emphasis on aerial cabling.
Prysmian is set to provide the underground cabling for the entire project.