NBN Co sees IT budget blowout

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NBN Co sees IT budget blowout

NBN Co has spent more than expected standing up IT systems ahead of commercial availabillity of broadband services.

The company spent $198 million in the past financial year readying its facilities, systems and processes, including on data centres as well as billing and operational support systems.

About $41 million of that spend was allocated to its network operations centre (NOC) at Melbourne's Docklands to provide round-the-clock surveillance of the National Broadband Network.

The centre, which doubled as a testing and sandpit facility for access seekers, would house more than 400 NBN Co staff, including three tiers of network support and a specialist tactical response unit.

Another $20 million was budgeted to establish the facility. It was expected to officially open next month, although staff began moving into the facility in April.

NBN Co had spent $23 million in IT operational expenditure and attributed $37 million in operational losses over the financial year to IT.

Network operations costs amounted to $78 million for the financial year, under the purview of chief information officer Claire Rawlins.

The figures were contained in a performance report [pdf] co-signed by Communications Minister Stephen Conroy and Finance Minister Penny Wong and delivered yesterday to the joint NBN committee, chaired by independent MP Rob Oakeshott.

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It was the first twice-yearly report NBN Co would have to prepare in addition to its annual report to the Federal Government as part of oversight processes.

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