NBN Is Paying Telstra To Fix Its Own Network

Telstra and NBN today have signed a deal that will see Telstra being paid $80 million in the first year of two new contracts to oversee, maintain and repair faults in its copper and HFC networks. "This is a big deal," a spokesperson for NBN told Gizmodo Australia -- "it's the final piece of the NBN jigsaw puzzle".

While NBN has stated its own contractors will be responsible for getting a premises "network ready", with Telstra looking after post-NBN connection ongoing maintenance and repairs, Telstra has confirmed that "there's some work that we will be doing fixing the copper in the transition period".

The transition period relates to contract number one, which involves fixing faults on the copper network and undertaking a small number of new connections for services that are yet to transfer to the NBN, over an initial period of 3 years.

The second contract sees Telstra (along with other contractors Service Stream and BSA) fixing faults and connecting new services on the NBN for the Fibre to the Node (FTTN), Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), Fibre to the Basement (FTTB) and HFC technologies once a customer has switched over to NBN. Telstra will oversee design and construction management throughout the four year contract.

Both contracts have the option to extend, and work is expected to begin in early 2016.

“I am delighted that we have an opportunity to support NBN by leveraging Telstra’s knowledge and experience in network design and construction management, as well as continued maintenance," said Telstra Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Penn, in a statement.

"We have said all along that we are committed to providing whatever commercial services NBN needs to meet its business objectives.”

The budget for the NBN has increased from $29.5 billion to $49 billion as of August 2015.

More on the NBN from Gizmodo Australia:

Malcolm's Mess: How The Coalition's NBN Came Unstuck

NBN Has Its First 1000 Customers On Fibre-To-The-Node

NBN's Aging Copper Network Will Cost $641 Million To Fix

Today's news comes after a string of leaked documents have revealed costs to get both Telstra and Optus's networks in good working order for the NBN rollout. These documents state that remediation costs for Telstra’s copper node have reportedly totalled $641 million.

In 2010 NBN paid $800 million for Optus to de-commission its HFC network, and this year struck a deal with Optus to use it for broadband. NBN is currently in talks with the telco about future works amid revelations that parts of its network are "not fit for purpose" and could cost up to $375 million to fix.

"To optimise the network build and provide access to an excellent service for Australians, united partnerships with the construction and telecommunications industry are a key priority," said NBN CEO Bill Morrow.

"This year we have re-set our relationships with the industry by improving the way we collaborate and structure competitive, flexible agreements with our partners."



    What a big waste of money on dead technology

    What a bloody train wreck.


    Wait, am I understanding this correctly? They're just going to 'fix' the copper instead of replace it with fiber-optic cables?

      and spend an equal amount doing so, yes.

        That's absolutely ridiculous, what exactly do they believe is the benefit to just replacing copper with more copper?

        Albert Eisenstein: "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

        Last edited 21/12/15 5:54 pm

          Albert Einstein: "I didn't say that, so stop attributing crap quotes to me."

            Lol, yeah I know, but it's such a great quote and who the hell knows who actually said it first so I thought 'why not'.

          The Liberal Party benefits because they won an election doing whatever the opposite is of Labor - no matter how stupid it turns out to be.
          Telstra benefits because hey this old junk copper we wrote off is still money, plus they maintain some control of the wholesale side.
          Foxtel benefits because screw you IPTV and competition, plus this old junk cable tv network is still money.
          News Corp benefits because it blocks entry of new media, plus they own Foxtel (along with Telstra) , plus it matches with the political pressure from the top - Murdoch.
          Murdoch and The Liberal Party are scratching each others backs and everyone else is just along for the self interest.

          The only benefit missing is a network that will still be alright in 20 years and the lost opportunity to support innovation instead of parasitic rent seeking.

          Last edited 22/12/15 3:02 am

            & the only ones who miss out, are we the consumer..

        Your right then plus some. This will surely run over budget tho the reason they went down this path is 1. faster roll out, though telstra forgot to mention their metro network is rotted away. hence the replacement. 2. it allows consumer competition in theory. 3. telstra gets paid line rental by nbn co in stead of paying line rental. 4. they have already signed a contract in effect once the copper network upgrade is complete they will begin replacing the new copper with fibre. Mistakes fixed by colossal blunders. enjoy and i hope you enjoy our tax funded projects.

      $80 million of tax payer dollars to Telstra for them to fix and maintain a network that their customers have been paying them for years to fix and maintain which they instead, neglected.

      Least Malcom didn't lie when he told the other politicians that the NBN was the best thing possible for their Telstra shares. Truer words never spoken.

      Infrastructure we paid for as tax payers, sold off to Telstra by Libs, then are paying for again for a second rate NBN, which is broken, and pay some more to have repaired, with obsolete technology, which we as tax payers will then pay for a third time to have upgraded to fibre.


      And for the next decade, as with ADSL/dial up/HFC back in the day, we will be a country of haves and have nots, a patchwork of which suburb are you lucky/unlucky to live in. The whole reason everyone was to get FTTP to end it once and for all.

      TBH it'll never be 'fixed', only maintained... the only way to 'fix' it is to replace it all with fiber.

    The Liberal way of doing business ladies and gentleman. Cheaper. Sooner. More rorty.
    Wasnt there some mention of double dipping by this government, a while back?

    Can't help but feel like by the time they get this built we'll be even further behind most other first countries.

    The ONLY thing that I am looking forward from this is the fact that my girlfriend's abysmal connection from TPG (using Telstra copper lines) improves as a side-effect of this plan. At least until the NBN rolls through in 2085.

    Are you sure these 2 contracts include copper? From reading tech news sites articles today, everybody else only mentions on going maintenance for HFC.

    When the copper is busted, it is supposed to be replaced under the plan.

    Is there a way I can let Telstra know that my street needs work? :P

    My internet is shit, they've previous had to connect us to a different line, as the one we had been on was damaged. I just want good internet, and decent ping.....for the love of god. Help me :o

      Unless you're having connections issues such as drop-outs, they don't care.

    You all voted for Abbott. Now suck it up. It will probably get even worse..

      I would agree with you (I sure as hell didn't vote for Libs) but then the Labor side was such a clusterfk that it was really a choice of who'll screw us up. It's a loss/loss situation. This new NBN was always going to favour Telstra and the political soapie scene we have shows this (after Labor implemented their NBN).

      tl;dr - we need to piss off the current clowns in 'power'.

    Seriously why beat a dead horse, give up on the copper and the optus cable, they are both lemons and start over... suddenly it might get fixed by the corporations afraid to lose government contracts and support. The government is really really bad at purchasing, they dont keep a history of each time a company fails to meet expectations and results and keeps handing them new contracts. Put their existing contracts across all federal government on the line and tell them to sort out their own mess.

    Else create an infrastructure fund for a monopoly on fibre to home corporation and have that roll out and crush them.


    Someone's mate is in the copper business down under! :)

    so when they say "NBN CO" is paying; what they really mean is that we the taxpayer are.

    The network should never EVER have gone with Telstra in the first place. The two sides of the business should have been split before the government sold off the company.

    Comment system still broken.

    Unable to upvote/downvote any comments.

    The NBN has not gone up, the real price was never disclosed to the public as no one would support it if the actual cost was declared, all gov projects are released under this type of structure, the true cost is never revealed, things are deliberately mislead and dodgy figures are released to the public, i have actually worked on some of these and that is how gov works.

      "The budget for the NBN has increased from $29.5 billion to $49 billion as of August 2015." is information given directly from an NBN representative when I spoke to them for this story.

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