NBN Co has handed out $1.1 billion over four contracts for the upgrading of fibre-to-the-node connections to fibre-to-the-premises for homes and businesses.
Consisting of over a third of the National Broadband Network (NBN) builder’s $2.9 billion investment into upgrading node connection technology, NBN Co awarded contracts to Lendlease Services and Fulton Hogan Utilities, in addition to the previously announced contracts for Ventia and Downer Group.
Lendlease’s contract will see it upgrade connections across Queensland, NSW, Victoria and the ACT, while Fulton will focus on Western Australia and South Australia.
Meanwhile, Ventia will focus on Queensland, NSW and Victoria, and Downer Group will facilitate upgrades for Western Australia and NSW.
As for the Northern Territory and Tasmania, NBN Co noted that their upgrades will be delivered under existing NBN construction contract arrangements.
“We are very pleased to work with these delivery partners to continue to evolve the NBN network and ensure more Australian homes and businesses can access the broadband services they need to remain productive while working and studying from home, and also to enjoy all of the entertainment and social benefits that high-speed broadband delivers," Kathrine Dyer, COO at NBN Co, said.
“Not only will this work help deliver greater broadband access to more homes and businesses, but these network investments will also help stimulate job creation and retention through new build activities that would otherwise have scaled down at the end of our initial build."
These contracts come as part of NBN Co’s announcement of a $3.5 million investment into making the NBN’s highest wholesale speed tiers made available for up to 75 per cent of homes and businesses by 2023, made in September 2020.
The selection criteria for NBN Co’s upgrade program includes anticipated demand for higher speeds; areas that it can deploy with speed and agility; and economic benefit.
Eligible areas are expected to initiate requests for fibre lead-ins and higher speed services with internet retailers by the end of 2021.
These contracts come two months after NBN Co announced it had extended fibre connections to 900,000 additional fibre connections across Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the ACT back in May.