Two sets of roll-out plans for the next phase of the NBN roll-out have been released in the space of a week– one set officially and one not.
On 16 October, nbn released details of its proposed construction timetable for the next three years. They can be accessed at www.nbnco.com.au/3yearplan.
The plan covers the construction –either completed or commenced – of connections to some 7.5 million premises.
These are in addition to the almost 700,000 premises under construction and nearly 1.3 million premises that are already able to connect to the network.
Contracts for the work have been awarded to Lend Lease (NSW), SA Power Networks (NT/SA), Service Stream (Victoria), QC Comms (NSW, ACT) and Decon (Victoria). These contracts are in addition to those announced in June when work was awarded to Visionstream, Fulton Hogan, Downer EDI, Transfield and WBHO.
If nbn can meet its targets, the total number of premises that will be able to order a service or be under construction by September 2018 will be some 9.5 million.
Inclusion of upgraded HFC networks in the NBN platform mix will of course make the task easier. The nbn plans, which include details of what technology will be used in each roll-out area, show that 3 million of the 7.5 million relevant premises will be connected to HFC.
But nbn Chair, Ziggy Switkowski has already warned that it will take a "heroic" effort for the project to be made available to more than 11 million homes before a 2020 deadline that the government describes as "achievable".
For its part, Labor remains unconvinced. At a recent Canberra hearing, Labor Senators called for the release of a more detailed plan that has been made available to nbn customers (i.e. Retail Service Providers) and which Labor claims shows significant delays between when the NBN would be rolled out in an area and when it would be made available to end users.
NBN chief executive Bill Morrow objected to the release of the document which he argued could lead to customer confusion due to the fact that the dates in the document would necessarily change.
It was subsequently leaked by industry newsletter delimiter and can be accessed at https://delimiter.com.au/2015/10/21/delimiter-releases-nbn-ready-for-service-info/