Ministers for the Department of Communications and the Arts

NBN Co and Optus strike deal for faster NBN rollout

14 December 2014

Joint release with Senator The Hon Mathias Cormann Minister for Finance

NBN Co and Optus have today signed a landmark agreement that will assist the Government to roll out the National Broadband Network sooner and at less expense to taxpayers.

The agreement allows NBN Co to take progressive ownership of the Optus HFC cable network and use this infrastructure in the NBN rollout, at no additional cost to taxpayers.

The shift to a multi-technology NBN is estimated to save about $30 billion and bring forward its completion by around four years, compared to the previous fibre-to-the-premises rollout.1

Today's agreement amends the Optus HFC Subscriber Agreement signed by NBN Co and Optus in June 2011. The original agreement involved closing the HFC network down.2 The amendments are subject to approval by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

The NBN is the largest infrastructure project in Australia's history. It is a wholesale-only high-speed broadband network that will connect about 12 million homes and businesses across the nation.3 The network is being constructed and operated by NBN Co, a Government-owned company.

It is the Government's policy to ensure all households and businesses have access to broadband services providing download data rates of at least 25 Megabits per second and proportionate upload data rates. Nine out of ten premises in the fixed line footprint will have access to broadband providing downloads of at least 50 Megabits per second and proportionate uploads.

NBN Co was supported throughout the negotiations by financial advisor Goldman Sachs and legal advisor Clayton Utz. The Commonwealth was supported by financial advisor Credit Suisse.

Images are available at: http://commsau.smugmug.com/Optus-NBN-Co

Date: 14 December 2014

Media contacts:

For Minister Turnbull: Jon Dart 0457 646 749 and David Bold 0427 784 451
For Minister Cormann: Karen Wu 0428 350 139


1 NBN Co – NBN Strategic Review, Final Report – December 2013, pages 98 & 102.

2 HFC stands for Hybrid Fibre-coaxial Cable. HFC networks were rolled out by Telstra and Optus for subscription TV in the 1990s, but are also capable of delivering high-speed broadband.

3 Wholesale-only means NBN Co does not sell to consumers. Instead, retail service providers such as Telstra, Optus, iiNet and many others offer broadband or telephone services to consumers using the NBN network.

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