The company in charge of building and operating the National Broadband Network this morning revealed it would construct its national operations and test facility in Melbourne's Digital Harbour development.
From the Melbourne facility, NBN Co will monitor and manage the NBN network and facilities, order service connections and repairs, and allow telcos using the network to test their services, a statement issued by the company this morning said.
The centre will host some 425 staff, when fully operational, NBN Co chief executive Mike Quigley said, using about 4000 square metres of space.
"This facility will be the centrepiece of our network and the key interface with our customers, the retail service providers, who will be using our network to provide high-speed services to their business and residential customers across Australia," he said.
NBN Co is planning to have the facility up and running in 2010 — before commercial services start to be provided through the company's early release fibre deployment sites on the mainland.
Nationally, NBN Co will contract out service installation and repair work, coordinated through the Melbourne centre.
There was a significant degree of interest from several state governments in hosting the NBN Co's headquarters, but Quigley has continued to emphasise the distributed nature of NBN Co's operations, pointing out today that while the Digital Harbour site was NBN Co's second site in Melbourne (it also has an office at 360 Elizabeth Street, where it plans to host about 290 staff), it also has offices in Sydney, Canberra and Hobart.
Quigley himself is based in Sydney.
"NBN Co chose Melbourne as the location for the Network Operations Centre because its engineering and technology operations are based here," Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said in a separate statement this morning.