Manufacturing News

Australian manufacturers to supply fibre equipment for NBN Co roll-out

Six manufacturers operating in Australia have secured NBN Co contracts worth up to $635 million to supply fibre components and equipment over the next five years.

The contracts will see six companies, including two Australian-owned and operated companies, Madison Technologies and Warren & Brown, and three other international players provide equipment for installation in homes and businesses as part of an NBN connection.

Madison Technologies and Warren & Brown is a partnership between a private Australian company Optimal and US company OFS. The three international companies, Corning Cable Systems, TE Connectivity, and 3M were selected in largely because of their Australian operation presence.

The contracts are expected to generate local employment within these companies from their Australian operation base.

Up to $150 million of the total spend on in-premises equipment will be locally produced, NBN Co estimates.

Types of components to be supplied include: internal fibre distribution hubs for apartment blocks and offices; internal cables; wall outlets; patch leads; and devices that will house the connection of the fibre from the street to the outside of premises.

The components will be used by NBN Co and its contractors for free standard installations when residents and business owners order a service from their Retail Service Provider.  

NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley said the decision to go with Australian as well international companies is as much about supporting local industry as it is about cost-effectiveness.

“We have worked to domestically source as much equipment for the NBN as possible. However, we needed to balance costs against the preference for Australian-made to arrive at a cost-effective result,” Quigley said.

The news, which follows NBN Co’s recent announcement of its 12-month rollout schedule with construction to start in areas covering over half a million premises, is an important step in NBN Co’s supply chain plans.

“We have sourced a range of equipment to form a catalogue of consistent, quality components that our installation contractors can use to suit different housing and commercial building types,” Quigley said.

“We have now put in place most of the equipment supply arrangements that we need for the rollout initially, but plan to go to the market as the rollout ramps up to source additional suppliers for a range of our equipment needs.”

Break down of individual contracts are as follows:

  • Corning secured the largest contract valued at $310 million over a five year period.  The company will supply internal fibre distribution hubs (FDH), fibre distribution terminals (FDT), internal service drop cable, internal multi-fibre cable, network termination unit (NTU) patch leads and premises cable.
  • Optimal/OFS secured the largest second contract worth up to $110 million in potential valueover a period of five years. The company will supply premises cables.
  • TE Connectivity will supply fibre distribution equipment under a five- year $105 million contract, including premise connection devices (PCD), fibre distribution terminals (FDT) and fibre collector distributors (FCD).
  • Warren & Brown secured a $60 million contract to supply optical fibre wall outlets for use on households in the fibre rollout area over a five-year term. Earlier this year, the company won a $50 million contract to supply optical distribution frames and sub-racks.
  • Madison will supply premise connection (PCD) devices worth up to $30 million over a five-year period.
  • 3M will supply retro-fit cable pathways worth up to $30 million over a five-year period.

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