Opticomm has inked a letter of intent with Tasmanian NBN Co to connect street fibre to homes in stage one of the island state's broadband network rollout.
The network builder's general manager Phil Smith told iTnews the letter would enable Opticomm to begin ordering network equipment and providing services ahead of a formal agreement with TNBN Co.
"[It] gives us the ability to provide products and services before the main agreement is completed," Smith said.
"It's a fast start-up [that enables] us to order the appropriate equipment."
The main agreement could be in place within the next month.
It also appears likely that Opticomm will play a role in the TNBN after it completes the connections between the street fibre and optical network terminal (ONT), rather than step away once the connections are made.
"We'll be contracting to provide ongoing services associated with that for a still-unspecified period," Smith said.
The connection activities were a first for the NBN and will be keenly watched by industry observers.
"It's a true brownfield rollout," Smith said. "There'll be a lot of learnings out of this. It's stage one but everyone will get a lot of knowledge [from it]."
The key difference between TNBN stage one and Opticomm's usual greenfield deployment sites was the way the network would be connected to homes previously wired for other communications technologies.
Smith said Opticomm was collaboratively working with the likes of Communications Alliance to work through potential issues.
The installation was expected to be complete by mid next year, TNBN Co said in a statement today.
TNBN Co last week contracted John Holland to lay the backhaul fibre links connecting the first stage communities.