Fresh from agreeing to hand over its copper and cable networks to NBN Co under a revised AU$11 billion deal, Telstra has picked up the design and planning work that will utilise the existing copper in a deal worth up to AU$390 million.
The value of the deal will be dependent on the volume of work that Telstra takes from NBN Co over the four-year length of the contract. NBN Co said that the deal does not represent half of the total design and planning work involved in the network.
NBN Co said in a statement on Friday that the incumbent telecommunications provider would start design and planning work for the National Broadband Network (NBN) in early 2015, with a view to support construction at scale from mid-2015.
"The contract was awarded as part of a competitive tender process and contains volume and cost flexibility based on performance," the spokesperson said.
ZDNet understands that an additional design and planning contract is still in negotiation, and that NBN Co still also needs to award construction contracts for the fibre-to-the-node, fibre-to-the-basement, and fibre-to-the-premises components of the network.
Given the company's knowledge of its own network and experience in constructing networks in Australia, Telstra is in a key position to win the construction for the NBN. However, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Sunday that it would be a competitive process.
NBN Co CEO Bill Morrow said on Sunday that Telstra's experience is valuable to NBN Co.
"Telstra does have 11 decades of existence of the company that they have learned to build out and manage the copper networks," he said.
Telstra said on Friday that it is in discussions with NBN Co on contracts for construction and maintenance.
The maintenance deal would see Telstra brought on to maintain the copper network it once owned at a price for NBN Co.
In NBN Co's updated product road map, released on Friday, the company said it is on target to be offering fibre to the basement and fibre to the node in 2015, but hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) will not be available until March 2016.