nbn is currently discussing a shared management approach with Telstra and Optus for the nbn HFC networks, in order to leverage the legacy owners’ expertise in this area. Meanwhile, the company has also awarded a number of contracts for the operation and maintenance of the fixed-line networks, once they are ready for service.
HFC discussions underway
nbn has signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Telstra, with negotiations for the design and construction management of the nbn HFC footprint currently underway. Discussions with Optus are also ongoing with a similar objective.
The agreements aim to simplify the process of upgrading and transitioning the ownership of the two Hybrid Fibre Co-axial (HFC) networks.
nbn CEO Bill Morrow said “The nbn team is gearing for the next stage of exponential growth, building on the now 1.7 million premises ready for service and the 700,000 homes and businesses that are actively using the nbn network.
“We’re now tracking over 10,000 new activations a week. By the end of this financial year we’re on track for nearly 1 in 4 homes to be able to order an nbn service and by June of 2018 this is set to grow to 3 in 4.
Mr Morrow said the key priority is to optimise the network build and provide access to an excellent service for Australians by building united partnerships with the construction and telecommunications industry.
“This year we have re-set our relationships with the industry by improving the way we collaborate and structure competitive, flexible agreements with our partners,” Mr Morrow said.
Under a MoU, Telstra and nbn are working towards finalising a contract early next year to determine the way forward for the engineering, procurement and construction management of the 3.6 million premises in the future nbn HFC network that will be serviced by key components of the current Telstra HFC network.
Telstra has previously engineered the country’s largest HFC network, with valuable expertise in HFC network design and construction management.
If arrangements are negotiated as expected, Telstra will become a partner in managing the design and build of a large portion of the HFC network, which is estimated to total 34 per cent of the national nbn footprint.
A successful HFC trial continues on the Optus HFC network in Redcliffe, Queensland, with end users experiencing speeds of up to 100Mbps/40Mbps.
Operate and Maintain Master Agreements (OMMAs)
Meanwhile, Service Stream Limited, Telstra and BSA Limited have each been awarded an Operate and Maintain Master Agreement by nbn.
nbn has entered into these agreements for the provision of ‘operate and maintain’ services on the fixed line technologies: Fibre to the Premises (FTTP); Fibre to the Node (FTTN/B) and HFC.
These works involve activating homes and businesses, along with ongoing maintenance to help ensure access to a reliable and fast broadband experience for all end users.
Work covered by the OMMA relates to operations and maintenance work once an area has been declared ‘ready for service’ (RFS) and end-users are able to order a connection.
Activations on the network are accelerating, with current weekly figures at more than 10,000 new users compared to approximately 4,000 in December 2014.
The agreements are based on the same concepts of flexibility, competition and incentives for high performance as the Multi-Technology Integrated Master Agreements (MIMA) reached in 2015 for the construction of the nbn network.