Telstra is in negotiations to launch a pilot program that could eventually see the telco win up to $6 billion worth of contracts for the rollout of Australia’s National Broadband Network.
A report in the Australian Financial Review says Telstra could instal up to 300 node cabinet units, each of which could connect up to 300 locations to the NBN.
According to the report, negotiations should wrap up by the end of this month, and construction could begin later this year, though there’s a chance an agreement may not be reached. Industry sources cited said, if all goes well, Telstra could be in line for up to $6 billion in contracts.
Telstra has previously said it would be interested in participating in the NBN rollout, as long as any profits were on top of a $11.2 billion deal it is renegotiating with NBN Co.
Bill Morrow — the new boss of NBN Co — starts on Wednesday. And as the AFR points out, Telstra, as well as NBN Co, have already run smaller fibre-to-the-node pilot programs since the Coalition won the election last year.
Under the former Labor government, the plan was to provide a direct fibre connection to almost all homes and businesses in Australia. The Coalition prefers a cheaper method that uses cabinets, connected to the fibre network, and then the old copper wiring for the last few meters. It’s cheaper, but internet speeds will be slower.
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