NBN contractor Silcar's CEO resigns

NBN contractor Silcar's CEO resigns

Summary: Major NBN construction partner Silcar has confirmed its CEO Peter Lamell has resigned following delays in the construction of the AU$37.4 billion network.


The chief executive officer of the National Broadband Network (NBN) construction partner Silcar, Peter Lamell, has resigned, marking two major executive losses for the construction partners of the AU$37.4 billion project since NBN Co announced that it would not meet its June target for premises passed by fibre.

A Silcar spokesperson this morning confirmed a report in The Australian Financial Review that Lamell would leave, but gave no reason for his departure.

"The Silcar board confirms that Silcar CEO Peter Lamell has tendered his resignation. The board thanks Mr Lamell for his commitment to the company during more than two and a half years in the role."

Silcar, a joint venture company between Siemens and Theiss, has been responsible for rolling out the NBN in Queensland, New South Wales, and the ACT.

In June last year, Lamell was forced to reject suggestions that the company would not tender again for the NBN amid claims that the network rollout was progressing too slowly.

His resignation comes almost two months after NBN Co announced that it would miss its June 2013 fibre construction forecast by up to 150,000 premises.

Silcar has also had to defend itself against suggestions that pay rates to the subcontractors that Silcar hires to build the fibre network are "extremely poor".

Lamell is the second top executive to leave one of the construction companies in recent weeks. Service Stream's managing director Graeme Sumner announced his resignation in April.

Topic: NBN


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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  • @Josh

    The following is some information that might be of assistance to you.

    I just spoke to a couple of young fellows, NBN contractors in my town. They only had a minute or two as they had just finished one job and were on their way to another, but they answered a couple of questions for me about the NBN installation.

    We briefly exchanged introductions and then at some point near the start of the conversation, one of them said: "We're supposed to do 75 installations a day".
    I said, "A day?"
    One replied, "Yeah a day. They just increased it from 40 to 75 installation per day"

    I said, 'How may staff do you have to do that?"
    One replied, "Four crews of two people."

    I said, "What, and you're are supposed to do 75 installation per day? How long does each one take?"
    One of them replied, "At least two hours, more if we have to use the excavator."

    I said, "How long do you work each day? Are you doing much overtime?"
    One replied, "About eight and a half hours. We don't want to do overtime. Occasionally, we'll do a Saturday."

    Josh, when my NBN was connected, I thought that I was going to have a fairly straightforward installation along the Telstra phone conduit into my home, but I still had two fellows here for most of the day and at one stage there were 6-8 working out the front.

    These are the reasons why the NBN is miles behind target. These are no doubt related to why the June target for installations won't be reached and why the CEO of Silcar resigned today.

    I see lots of comments every day from smart-arses who think that they know everything. Trouble is, it is quite clear that they've never spoken to a contractor, they never spoken to anyone researching post implementation of the NBN and they wouldn't know ace from a bulls roar about anything!
    • I agree

      It is the state of the existing infrastructure, as a matter of interest what was the issue. ? I Suspect they could not just disconnect and pull out the telephone cable with a pull through cable, then pull both tel cable and fibre through together. Against the law. Or was the conduit R.S, plastic conduit doesn't last forever. ?
      Abel Adamski
      • The copper cannot, yet, be removed

        Anyone on a Telstra plan uses the NBN for data and the copper network for voice. Removal of copper is due to commence in May next year.

        But that is not the issue. Who the hell is setting the impossible targets? It is simply not possible for 4 teams of two people to carry-out 75 installations per day when each installation takes more than 2 hours of more! Realistically, the group of teams would be flat-out getting 20 installations done per done even if they stumbled over a few simple ones.

        It defies logic that NBN and Conroy are not aware of this and yet every week we get the same set of lies about achieving targets . . .
        • Impossible targets

          I agree,
          2 workers x 2hrs good if all goes well = 4/Day per 2 man crew, problems are normal.
          Some time savings in block installs with single common equip install, 20 per day for 4 crews. Some time/job management efficiencies possibly effectively 5 or 6 crews of 2 out of 8 workers so reasonable rate of 20-24 per day per team of 4 crews.

          The targets are a reflection of staffing levels which is a complex argument about Telstra and Contractors and work planning and rollout efficiencies and economies and subcontractor income
          Abel Adamski
          • Nothing to do with Telstra

            "The targets are a reflection of staffing levels which is a complex argument about Telstra and Contractors "

            These are contractors working for NBN, not Telstra!