NBN Co flatly denied that Australia's $36 billion nationwide broadband roll out has hit a snag following reports that major contractors attached to the federal initiative were mulling possible pull outs from the project that has been plagued by numerous delays.
NBN Co flatly denied that Australia's $36-billion nationwide broadband roll out has hit a snag following reports that major contractors attached to the federal initiative were mulling possible pull outs from the project that has been plagued by numerous delays.
In a statement it released earlier this week, NBN Co reported that "the rollout of the NBN is well and truly ramping up," with the firm denying at the same time reports that suggest Silcar and Transfield could be out of the ambitious project soon.
The Australian Financial Review (AFR) has earlier said that Silcar, which presently holds a $1.6 billion NBN contract, was considering to opt out of the project's next phase as its role was proving to be costlier than earlier thought.
Delays were the prime reasons cited by the NBN contractor, AFR reported, which were driving up its operational costs that eventually could eat the construction firm's profit margins.
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The Fairfax publication further claimed that the ongoing mining boom was luring away prospective builders of the national broadband network, which NBN Co said will be fully constructed by 2020.
"A rising number of key contractors switch to more stable work in the resource and construction industries," the AFR report said.
Doubts have been dogging the NBN since its initial roll out, with its existence threatened by likely cost blow outs and a firm pledged made by the Coalition that it will immediately dump the project as soon as it wins government power in 2013.
However, NBN Co Chief Executive Mike Quigley told Smarthouse on Tuesday that despite the challenges it faces, "the NBN roll out is gathering pace."
"The NBN is a large and complicated project and the issues we face have been well trailed but we are working to surmount them," Mr Quigley explained.
In a separate statement, Silcar chief executive Peter Lamell said: "The report in the Financial Review that Silcar is 'set to abandon' the next round of NBN contracts is untrue."
"Silcar has tendered for specific components of the NBN offered to it and remains 100 per cent committed to the nation building project, both for the work we have in hand and for additional work in the future," the company chief stressed.
NBN Co also pointed out that claims of exiting contractors from the roll out were plain falsehoods as asserted by declarations coming from Silcar and Transfield, which in turn holds $395 million NBN construction contract.
"All existing construction contractors are committed to the project, and are keen to bid for additional work," ZDNet Australia reported NBN Co as saying in a statement.
The company argued that there were no signs at all the NBN roll out could fizzle out soon as it asserted that all construction activities "is well and truly ramping up."
It admitted, however, that NBN was not worry-free and delays of up to eight months have marred the project, which mostly were due to the drawn out negotiations for Telstra and other local telcos to retire their existing networks and make way for NBN's fibre optic infrastructure.
But the efforts of NBN Co to draw more players in the laying down of a modern broadband network across the nation is being sustained, the company said, in line with its commitment of providing job opportunities to thousands of Australians.
According to The Australian, Downer EDI and Syntheo, the latter co-owned by Lend Lease and Service Stream, have expressed keen interests in joining the ranks of NBN Co's major contractors.
With more key players adding up to the initiative, NBN Co added that it is on track to deliver broadband access to 3.5 million Australian households by 2015 despite the delays and issues hampering the project's national roll out.
This article is copyrighted by IBTimes.com.au, the business news leader