NBN Co blames contractor for dropped forecast

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NBN Co blames contractor for dropped forecast
Mike Quigley, NBNCo's CEO

NBN Co has blamed one of its construction partners for a drop in the number of premises it expects to pass with fibre by June this year.

CEO Mike Quigley told a Senate Estimates hearing last night that the previous forecast to pass 300,000 premises — provided in October last year — had been revised down to 286,000.

“The reason for the change is that one of construction partners (Syntheo) reduced significantly their forecast since we presented our forecast in October,” Quigley said.

Syntheo holds a $174 million contract covering construction in Western Australia, the Northern Territory and South Australia.

Quigley said the company had run into "a range of issues" that accounted for the premises passed downgrade.

“We are working closely with Syntheo to recover their original forecast,” he said.

Quigley declined to be more specific, indicating it was not appropriate discuss the numbers reduced or reasons.

“But it is a significant reduction,” he said. “It is not appropriate to say more other than we are in discussions with them.”

“As you would expect in a project like this there are some ups and downs as we progress up through the roll-out ramp," he added.

Syntheo is one of four construction partners for NBN’s national roll-out. The other three construction partners are Silcar, Transfield and Visionstream.

Quigley said that overall, the NBN rollout was progressing reasonably well since the projections the company made last October.

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