The National Broadband Network Company (NBN Co) today announced the names of the contractors that will deploy the fibre for the first release sites on the mainland, with the company's head of construction Patrick Flannigan saying that construction work would start at the end of this month.
Silcar will do the work for Armidale, Transfield Services for Minnamurra and Kiama Downs, while South Australian power distributor ETSA Utilities will do the work for the SA town of Willunga.
Ergon Energy will construct the network in Townsville. Meanwhile, according to Flannigan, NBN Co is currently dotting the i's and crossing the t's on a deal that will see Telstra carry out the construction in Melbourne.
Flannigan refuted claims in the AustralianIT that NBN Co was having trouble finding a full list of contractors. "There was no shortage of construction contractors," he said.
Corning Cable Systems, the company that provided the fibre for the Tasmanian roll-out, will be providing the fibre for the first release sites too. The fibre supplier for the complete mainland build has not yet been chosen.
The contractors revealed today are only for the initial release sites. Contractors for the second release sites and the next three to five years build will be chosen from a list of 21.
The dropping of the cable from the network to the side of the home will be free, according to NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley. Flannigan said that the second release site homes would also not have to pay.
When asked if this was a cost that could be introduced if the NBN ran over budget, Flannigan said he couldn't imagine that it would ever have to be paid by the consumer.
"Where does our network end? It's at the customer's premise. It's our cost," he said.