Prysmian unveils NBN cable factory


Invests $11m in cable maker.

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Fibre cable manufacturer Prysmian has opened a new $11 million facility in northern Sydney in a bid to ramp up supply of optic fibre for the National Broadband Network.

The new factory, located in Dee Why, will be used to fulfill a five-year contract with NBN Co to supply the underground cabling for the NBN.

It has received an initial order for $150 million worth of cabling, but the total contract could be worth more than twice that.

The facility is Prysmian's third in Sydney, with previous factories used to supply cable for other cable projects including the Basslink cable across the Bass Strait to Tasmania, and Vocus' new fibre links across Sydney Harbour.

Communications minister Stephen Conroy said the new facility would create up to 50 new jobs , "in addition to the 16,000 to 18,000 direct Australian jobs NBN Co estimates will be created as a direct result of the NBN construction phase".

"I wish everyone looking at the TV tonight could see the extrordinary technology that is behind that wall," he said.

"Because when you see this, you realise what the NBN is all about [and] the potential that we are unleashing to every Australian."

The new Prysmian facility launch came a day after NBN Co released its revised corporate plan for 2012-2015.

The company revealed plans to use more Telstra infrastructure — including dark fibre and exchange space assets — in building the network but also increased the amount of fibre it expects to roll out from 181,000 kilometres across Australia, to 206,000 kilometres.

Prysmian's contract with NBN Co will go partway to supplying 75 percent of the cabling required for the rollout of the network. The remaining quarter of cabling used to connect premises to the network will be placed overhead and supplied by Corning.

Additional reporting by James Hutchinson.

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