Syntheo pulls out of NBN NT construction

One of the key NBN construction partners, Syntheo, has handed back its contract for construction of the fibre network in the Northern Territory.

Lend Lease and Service Stream joint-venture construction company Syntheo has announced that it will no longer build the National Broadband Network (NBN) in the Northern Territory (NT), putting the June rollout target further at risk.

In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) this morning, part owner Service Stream said Syntheo has signed an agreement with NBN Co to hand back the remainder of the design and construction of the NBN in the Northern Territory. The company said it will continue to work on construction in Western Australia and South Australia for the network.

Service Stream managing director Graeme Summer said that Syntheo will be reviewing its approach to construction activities as a result of the hand-back.

Syntheo had already been blamed by NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley for a revision in the forecast for premises passed by June this year from 300,000 to 286,000, due to issues in South Australia and Western Australia. Figures released by NBN retailer Devoted this week showed that NBN Co had only passed just over 1,400 premises in the first 10 weeks of this year.

NBN Co confirmed to ZDNet that it will take over NT construction from Syntheo. On the question of whether its June forecast would be revised, the company said details will be announced "in the coming days".

The Australian reported this morning that construction companies have indicated that the network rollout is up to 10 weeks behind schedule, and as many as 140,000 premises could be taken out of the 286,000 June target.


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