Start dates announced for NBN Second Release sites in NSW, Qld, ACT

NBN Co today announced the dates that preliminary site works are scheduled to start in the Second Release Sites of the national broadband network in New South Wales, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory.

Works are due to start across nine locations in a rolling schedule, with preliminary site work due to get underway this month in Armidale and Coffs Harbour, NSW. NBN Co plans to roll out the network in a series of modules, each covering around 3000 premises. As previously outlined, the next sites are a mix of extensions to works at First Release Sites and a number of additional sites announced last July.

The announcement of start dates in NSW, Qld and the ACT follows the recent signing of a construction contract with Silcar for detailed design and construction in these areas. Negotiations are currently progressing with construction companies to undertake work in the other states and the Northern Territory.

It is estimated that the average time from the start of preliminary works to the activation of first services will be around 12 months. Additional onsite planning and preparation works will be necessary before building begins.

Scheduled preliminary site work start dates are outlined in the following table.

 

Location Preliminary site works start date
Coffs Harbour August 2011
Armidale NSW August 2011
Townsville Qld September 2011
Kiama township and Jamberoo NSW September 2011
Toowoomba Qld October 2011
Gungahlin ACT October 2011
Riverstone NSW November 2011
Goodna/Springfield Lakes November 2011
Aspley- Brisbane metropolitan area December 2011

NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley said: “The signing of the Definitive Agreement with Telstra – though yet to be approved by shareholders – together with the finalisation of the construction contract with Silcar, has allowed us to finalise the proposed schedule for the next round of construction in mainland Australia.

 “The use of Telstra’s infrastructure, where it is available, should reduce the amount of disruption for the community and provide a smoother and more efficient rollout. It was for this reason that we waited to start this next phase of construction.

“The plan is to continue the rollout by extending from the places where we have started in the First and Second Release sites, as well as add other sites as planning progresses.

“Our intention is to release a 12-month schedule, including new rollout sites, in the near future,” he said.

NBN Co is planning to rollout fibre-based broadband services designed to offer speeds of up to 100* Mbps downlink at the wholesale level to 93 per cent of premises across Australia. Seven per cent of premises will be served by fixed wireless and satellite services.

NBN Co has already launched an Interim Satellite Service targeted at those who don’t have access to other metro-comparable broadband services. The Interim Satellite Service is aiding the transition from the Australian Broadband Guarantee to the Long-Term Satellite service due in 2015.

NBN Co has also finalised a $1.1billion project scheduled to deliver high-speed fixed wireless broadband services which are planned to commence as early as the middle of next year, with the fixed wireless network scheduled for completion by 2015.