NBN Co spends $87m on fibre to unit blocks

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NBN Co spends $87m on fibre to unit blocks

Two firms snare contracts.

NBN Co has signed $87 million in contracts with Downer EDI and Universal Communications Group to roll fibre into multi-dwelling units.

Head of network operations Leisel Ramjoo said that NBN Co is taking a "proactive approach" to fibre rollout to units and flats.

So far NBN Co has rolled out the network to 237 residential MDUs across Australia, with work underway on a further 131.

“The complexity of the task is exacerbated by the fact that there is no single method of connecting multi-dwelling units," she said.

"For instance, a big block with 50 or more units will require one solution, a small block of flats will need another, so it may be necessary to do a bespoke survey and design for most.”

Downer EDI's contract is worth $66 million and focuses on deployments in NSW, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory.

Brisbane's Universal Communications Group (UCG), meanwhile, inked a $21 million contract with NBN Co to connect flats and units in Sydney and Tasmania to the national broadband network.

The contract involves the rollout of fibre to multi-dwelling units in metropolitan areas over two years, with the company planning to expand in Sydney and Hobart and triple its staff and contractor pool over the next three months.

"The rollout to multi-dwelling units is a complex but important part of the overall rollout of the national broadband network in Australia, and we are excited about this opportunity," said UCG managing director Ralf Luna.

UCG has kicked off a round of equity raising to help fund future growth.

UCG said it had delivered over 90 percent of NBN Co installations in multi-dwelling units to date.

A spokesperson for UCG said although the company is also involved in deploying fibre in greenfield multi-dwelling units, the new contact only related to existing units.

Additional reporting by Josh Gliddon.

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