NBN Co is hoping to “speed up” building works on the fibre-to-the-curb (FTTC) portion of its network as it tries to make up lost ground.
CEO Stephen Rue told the CommsDay summit yesterday that the company had encountered complexity in the FTTC rollout so far where it “often has to remediate pits and install new conduits” to bring fibre closer to homes.
“That adds time and complexity to the build,” Rue said.
“To manage this, we are working with our delivery partners to make sure we can explore every possible avenue for speeding up the build.
“We have a great record in accelerating the deployment of all of our technologies by working closely with our delivery partners and equipment suppliers.
“This is exactly what we are hoping to achieve with FTTC as well.”
The company is under some pressure to deliver as it missed its last financial year ready-for-service target for FTTC by a considerable margin.
That was in part because many FTTC premises were immediately classified as “not yet ready to connect” - the old service class zero or equivalent categorisation - due to problems being encountered in the last mile.
Based on the most recent corporate plan, NBN Co hopes to make 500,000 FTTC premises ready for service this year, for a total of 700,000.
That’s 200,000 less than its rollout target a year ago, with construction on those premises now pushed out by a year.
NBN Co still expects to have 1.4 million FTTC premises ready for service by the end of FY20.