NBN Co loses its second construction head

NBN Co loses its second construction head

Summary: The company charged with rolling out Australia's National Broadband Network has removed the role of head of construction in a restructure.

TOPICS: NBN, Australia

Dan Flemming, NBN Co's head of construction, has left the company following a restructure of the organisation as it moves to ramp up the construction of the National Broadband Network (NBN) across Australia.

The change was first reported by The Australian, which alleged that Flemming left after long tensions between himself and NBN Co's Chief Operating Officer Ralph Steffens. NBN Co has denied this.

NBN Co confirmed to ZDNet in a statement that Steffens had made an adjustment to NBN Co's structure in order to meet targets that places commercial and contract management under Business Operations led by Kat Stapleton.

"This allows us to consolidate expertise, as we focus on the vital areas of contract management and rollout delivery within the COO team," NBN Co said.

NBN Co thanked Flemming for his time at the company.

"For almost three years, Dan has been instrumental in developing NBN Co's construction capability. His passion for and commitment to the National Broadband Network has been clearly evident throughout his tenure. Dan's achievements in leading and growing the NBN Co construction organisation are many, and greatly appreciated."

Flemming stepped up to the role in 2011, after the company's first head of construction, Patrick Flannigan, suddenly quit shortly after NBN Co had halted its construction tender process, which it eventually negotiated out with several different companies.

Flannigan himself has resurfaced in the telecommunications industry. After leaving NBN Co to join IT consultancy firm UXC, the firm sold off its field solutions group in 2011, which became Utility Services Group (USG) headed up by Flannigan. He told industry publication Communications Day today that USG was looking to pick up contracts in the rollout and maintenance of the telecommunications networks. He has even recruited NBN Co's former-head of operations, Steve Christian, as a non-executive director.

Within NBN Co, the company has moved General Manager for Implementation Richard Thorpe to the new role of executive general manager for construction, reporting to Steffens. Prior to working at NBN Co, Thorpe worked with BT Openreach and Level 3 Communications.

Topics: NBN, Australia


Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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  • Dan Flemming

    Today the NBN has lost Dan Fleming, sad but necessary, he is brilliant and focused on the most efficient and best long term operation, unfortunately due to the destructive nature of the vitriolic attacks by the opposition and News Ltd vicious destructive attacks to protect and build their media monopoly, especially in cable TV it has become political with short term results being critical to the survival of one of the most important infrastructure platform for the Nation and the economy now and for the decades to come.
    Your pathetic Coalition Policy is just as fatally flawed and dysfunctional as that half baked disaster in waiting labelled as OPEL. It is the Government responsibvility to provide the National Infrastructure to enable optimal growth of the Nation and the economy. The Private sector is only interested in ROI and profits as such cannot provide that which is needed by it's very nature without massive taxpayer gifts for eternity

    For once stand up for Australia to those ideological fanatics in your party, but especially to that creature Rupert Murdoch and his henchmen and minions who seek to rule this nation by proxy and control and manipulate our every thought and opinion.

    Stand up for Australia and be a man of integrity, support the NBN as it is and defuse the political B.S and do something worthwhile for Australia
    Abel Adamski
  • You speak as though you

    have some insider knowledge. It seems a bit of a long bow to blame political forces on a move such as this one. A number of senior NBN Co exec's have moved on in the short time that organisation has existed. I am inclined to think about a disfunctional management culture within the company rather than outside influences.
    Blank Look
    • Read the source article

      "Dan Flemming is the most pragmatic and competent guy the NBN has, so his departure is a big disappointment for us," said a senior executive from one construction firm helping to build the broadband network.

      "He was always focused on the realistic, long-term goals of the project (not) short-term political targets. This is bad for the NBN, and bad for us."

      Abel Adamski
    • Pity

      Critical Nationwide National infrastructure as a foundation for decades to come should be a bi partisan affair, unfortunately this is not the case.
      We in reality have no idea what what will happen when the Libs get the power they have so cravenly lusted for, TA and Hockey, PM and Treasurer to be will determine that, the comms minister may well be Fletcher (God Help Us) ABBOT and Hockey want to kill the NBN.

      Abel Adamski
      • So the political pressure wasn't

        The "commenced" exceeding targets released the other day?

        Premises passed and connections a much more difficult sell in an election year if one isn't prepared to be flexible with the truth. Don't worry with he money offered they'll find the right person;-)
        Richard Flude
        • Point Proven

          Thank you Richard.

          AND can you precisely with evidence advise what the alternative solution under Abbott and Hockey will be, ?
          What will we get and how satisfactory will that be as essential National infrastructure.?
          What will it cost the taxpayer both upfront and in permanent ongoing subsidies.?
          Who will pay for any needed upgrades.?
          What will it cost the end user?
          What will they get for their money.?
          What competition in retail offerings will be available.?
          What will the maintenance costs be and who will pay for them?

          You will note another news item re Telstra's remediation of pits and ducts, that has to be completed in an area BEFORE work can commence
          Abel Adamski
          • Wait for it...

            Standard tap dancing answer... "just because I can see the NBN will fail, doesn't mean I support the Coalition's plan"...

        • Once again Richard... from the 12/1

          From Malcolm Turnbull's previous interview...

          MT - "738,000 households (more) to pass" (laughs and suggests to interviewer that because they are both smiling neither of them believe they will)... "this is an extraordinary promise, now, you know, if they can do that I guess there will be a lot of admiration in terms of construction..."

          Well the "extraordinary promise" was not only met but exceeded. But now instead of the "promised admiration", since proven wrong,MT seems to have shut up about it and simply left it to a few mindless trusty pawns to try to talk it down...

  • Well said Abel...

    yeap, those Liberal monkeys are like a cancer for Australia, dark force, dark matter... you name it. They are selling our future to Murdoch Co and care only about their pockets.
    It is a pity that good and meaningful people are forced to leave :(

    The only hope for the NBN and this country as a whole, is that they will loose the next election.