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  • 7 February 2013 08:26

Telstra to spend $335m readying underground infrastructure for the NBN

Telstra has awarded contracts to Silcar, Service Stream and Leighton Contractors worth at least $335m for remediation of its underground infrastructure in readiness for the rollout of the National Broadband Network.

As part of a $11b deal between Telstra, NBN Co and the Federal Government, in the 93 percent of Australian premises to be served by NBN Co’s fibre to the home network Telstra’s existing copper wire telephone network will be scrapped and the pipes, ducts and pits that carry the network will be used for the rollout of NBN fibre. With the NBN fibre being the only fixed link into most Australian homes and providing phone, Internet access and, increasingly video entertainment, continuity of service, and hence underground infrastructure protection will become even more important. The ever present threat of backhoe blackout must be countered. Australian's PelicanCorp has a solution to help prevent such accidents by offering a hosted "Automated Plan Response" to essential infrastructure owners. This "Plan response" consists of a range of services such as DigSAFE Pro/AIRS and beforeUdig. Anybody planning on dig up the ground notifies the system of the location they are planning to excavate and the system will return, generally within 15 minutes, a plan of the area showing all underground infrastructure. The three contracts from Telstra cover remediation of existing pit and pipe infrastructure, construction of any required additional infrastructure and other associated services needed to satisfy the requirements of the NBN rollout. These include validation of work parcels and activities, pit replacements and manhole repairs, clearing of pipe blockages and ongoing management of on-site activities. Silcar has been awarded a contract expected to be worth $65m over three years for work on Telstra’s pipe and duct network in Queensland. Service Stream has been awarded a similar contract for Western Australia, South Australia, The Northern Territory, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. Its contract is expected to be worth $180m over its initial three year term and Service Stream says that, with two renewal options of two years each, it could be worth $420m over seven years. Leighton’s contract, awarded to its subsidiary Visionstream Australia, is worth approximately $90m over three years and it also comes with two, two year renewal options that could make it worth $210m over seven years. (Silcar’s announcement of its contract made no mention of any renewal options). Visionstream’s general manager, Allan Bradford, said that Visionstream was ideally placed to assist Telstra deliver its commitment to NBN Co. “We understand the importance of getting these works done and the impact it has on the overall success of the new network.” All three companies are long-term suppliers to Telstra. Visionstream started life as a Telstra subsidiary, it was formed in 1994 to roll out Telstra’s pay TV network. Silcar has been providing services to Telstra since 1999. About PelicanCorp PelicanCorp's technology and service suite has been designed and built around the network and asset design and construction processes. Civil contractors operating in the 'before you dig' sector, use PelicanCorp's services to locate and protect the essential infrastructure of public and private sector organisations including those providing telecommunications, power, water and other services. PelicanCorp operates in Australia, New Zealand, UK and Europe and Singapore. It was established in 2000 and is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. For further information please visit More : Infrastructure Protection News

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