Network services provider, Service Stream, is among three companies to win a slew of new network build contracts with nbn, the company behind Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN).
Nbn announced on 21 December it had signed three design and construction master agreements (DCMA) for the build of approximately 525,000 premises in Sydney and Melbourne.
While most of the premises will be served with Fibre-to-the-Curb (FTTC) technology, some may be connected via Fibre-to-the-Premises, -Node, or -Basement (FTTP/N/B), the network builder said.
Service Stream is joined by Downer EDI Limited and Fulton Hogan Construction as the recipient delivery partners of the new agreements.
Nbn said that the partners were selected based on performance metrics, ability to mobilise and support scale, and their design and construction capability.
The FTTC agreements are designed to give nbn the ability to issue work releases at the Fibre Serving Area (FSA) level, incorporating single-dwelling units, multi-dwelling units, bespoke premises, distribution, and local fibre networks.
The aim of the FTTC agreements, according to nbn, is to incentivise its delivery partners to meet time and cost targets.
“This is designed to encourage ongoing performance improvements, through innovation and program management,” the company said.
For premises outside the FTTC agreement footprint, nbn is negotiating contract variations with its current planning and design services agreement (PDSA) and multi-technology integrated master agreement (MIMA) delivery partners to incorporate the FTTC technology.
Local network services provider, Visionstream, is among the local suppliers that have recently inked construction agreements with nbn, with the company signing one of the final multi-technology mix (MTM) construction agreements – along with Fulton Hogan – in October.
The latest build deals come as Australia’s Minister for Communications and the Arts, Mitch Fifield, once again praises the Federal Government’s decision to loan nbn the $19.5 billion needed to ensure the completion of the national network project - in addition to the $29.5 billion equity contribution it has already been forking out for the rollout.
“In anticipation of a future privatisation of nbn as provided for in the NBN Companies Act 2011, it is expected that this loan will be re-financed by nbn on external markets in 2020-21,” Fifeld said in a statement published on 21 December.
“A government loan on commercial terms represents the most cost effective way to raise the debt and secure funding to complete the rollout of this important national infrastructure project.
“nbn has recently obtained strong indicative credit ratings from credit agencies, which shows that nbn's business case is strong,” he said. “These indicative ratings were improved from 2017 Corporate Plan assumptions.”
Yet the decision by the government to loan nbn the money comes after nbn, CEO, Bill Morrow, revealed in August that the company was searching for private sector backers to make up the shortfall left by the government’s funding cap.