The company behind the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN), nbn, has flagged new challenges ahead as it looks to ramp up the network’s rollout in Australia’s cities.
To date, more than 70 per cent of nbn’s rollout has happened in regional and rural areas, but this year the company expects to see more construction commence in metropolitan areas.
Now, as nbn accelerates the rate of its rollout in Australia’s higher density areas this year, CEO, Bill Morrow, is flagging that the new push would come with fresh problems.
“As the nbn network rolls out into cities we will be met with new problems to solve,” Morrow said in a statement. “We understand there will be some disruption for residents and business owners as the 14,000 people working across nbn and our delivery partners complete the task as soon as possible.”
The network builder indicated that building out the network in higher density areas, where access to pits and existing infrastructure can be more difficult than in less dense areas, may mean disruption from civil works in cities where the rollout is occurring.
The warning comes as nbn reveals it expects to complete 50 per cent of the network’s rollout by the middle of 2017, with the 2020 completion target still in the company’s sights.
“Mid-way through the year, half the nbn network will be completed,” Morrow said. “This will be a significant turning point as we aim to finish the build by 2020 and become the first fully-connected continent in the world.
“The intensified deployment will present challenges but the nbn team, along with our partners and retailers, is focused on a positive experience for customers and end users as we accelerate the build and connection rates to new records,” he said.
The metropolitan areas where NBN construction will begin or switch on this year include the City of Sydney in NSW, Victoria’s Boroondara City, Brisbane and the Gold Coast in Queensland, South Australia’s Onkaparinga, Fremantle in Western Australia, and Hobart in Tasmania.
Among the build partners contributing to the rollout ramp-up is Service Stream which, along with Downer EDI Limited and Fulton Hogan Construction, signed a design and construction master agreement with nbn late last year.
The three agreements see the partners slated to provide services for the build of approximately 525,000 premises in Sydney and Melbourne, with most of those premises to be served with Fibre-to-the-Curb (FTTC) technology.