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Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has issued an interim Statement of Expectations to the NBN Co to guide the company’s construction and operational activities pending changes to the board, a strategic review of the project and the drafting of a new corporate plan.

“The interim Statement instructs the NBN Co to continue to roll out the network as rapidly and as cost effectively as possible throughout this process,” said Mr Turnbull. “In the short term, the interim Statement will see the NBN Co meet its contractual obligations by continuing to roll out fibre to the premises while the company conducts the strategic review of the project.”

The interim statement intends to provide the NBN Co with the flexibility to use a wider range of technologies to connect businesses and homes to the network.

“For example, this will allow NBN Co to trial the latest VDSL technology to deliver superfast broadband to homes and businesses to multi-dwelling units, such as apartment and office blocks,” Mr Turnbull said.

“A key priority will be to reduce the backlog of 66,000 premises passed by the NBN Co network which can’t currently obtain a service. This includes the majority of apartments, schools and businesses where the fibre network has been rolled out. “

Mr Turnbull said that the government intended to move forward with the project as soon as possible.

“Under the interim Statement of Expectations, construction will be completed in areas containing 300,000 premises where construction contracts have been signed. Detailed network design work is underway in areas containing a further 645,000 premises. In geographic areas where NBN Co is in a position to hand over final designs to construction partners, some of these sites may see construction work begin shortly.”

“There are also more than 900,000 premises listed on the one year rollout plan on the NBN Co website where only preliminary network design work is underway. Decisions about actual construction in these areas will be taken after the reviews into the NBN rollout are completed.”

The full press release can be viewed at https://www.malcolmturnbull.com.au/media/press-conference-interim-nbn-statement-of-expectations#.Uk5ICCQwpFx

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