NBN Co has called for capability statements from design and construction services firms looking to pick up work on the fibre portion of the national broadband network.
The company said it expected to issue a formal request for proposals "in June or July this year."
"The contractors NBN Co will be seeking responses from will need to demonstrate capability to undertake work of significant size and complexity and to gradually ramp up activities nationally," NBN Co said in a statement.
"The process will also encourage mid tier and smaller contractors that wish to register an interest and will ultimately help them offer their services to the head contractors."
Head of construction Patrick Flannigan said the planned physical construction "would involve a staged approach which would eventually pass more than ten million premises over eight years and require laying more than 200,000 kilometres of fibre cable."
Capability responses are required by Tuesday 27th April, 2010.