Visionstream will take on the rest of the construction and roll-out of the fibre portion of the National Broadband Network (NBN) roll-out in Tasmania, including maintenance and extensions of the fibre network that lie outside the 93 per cent of the fibre roll-out.
(Credit: Josh Taylor/ZDNet Australia)
The $300 million, four-year contract will see the Leighton Holdings company build the passive fibre network out to the remaining 190,000 homes and businesses not covered in the first stages of the NBN roll-out in the state by 2015.
In addition to this, Visionstream told ZDNet Australia that it will have responsibility for fixing faults on the fibre network and rolling out "short network extensions" after the passive fibre network build.
NBN Co has been trialling network extensions in Tasmania for residents that lie just outside the 93 per cent of premises covered by the fibre roll-out that would be otherwise serviced through the NBN's fixed-wireless long-term evolution (LTE) network, or through satellite. The cost for these extensions is expected to be met by the resident, or the local council that requests this extension. NBN Co has previously refused to reveal the costs associated with this extension.
NBN Co also told ZDNet Australia that the deal encompasses replacing NEC network terminating units in 4000 first-release site premises with the standard Alcatel-Lucent equipment capable of handling 1 gigabit per second connections rolled out in the other NBN sites. Telstra has said it will only offer commercial services on the NBN in Tasmania once this equipment has been replaced.
The deal is expected to create around 800 new jobs in the Apple Isle, with much of the work in manual labour, lines work and installing. Visionstream's managing director Peter McGrath welcomed the deal.
"We are thrilled to have secured this important and exciting contract to deliver broadband to Tasmania. Visionstream is looking forward to building a long-term, sustainable presence in Tasmania and create a substantial number of new employment opportunities for Tasmanians using local skills and talent."
NBN Co's chief operations officer Ralph Steffens said that with construction set to be completed in 2015, Tasmania will be the first state to have the NBN roll-out finished.
"It's appropriate that the state that was the first to be connected to the NBN will be the first where the roll-out will be complete. It will give Tasmania a head start to be able to take advantage of this transformative infrastructure for the nation's future."
Visionstream has already picked up a number of contracts for work surrounding the NBN. It was responsible for the construction of the regional blackspots program, which was completed in 2011, and is constructing the transit network for the NBN, as well as part of the fixed-wireless network construction on behalf of Ericsson.