Wednesday, 21 October 2015 09:34

nbn ordered $14 million of copper for 1800 km of FttN rollout Featured

Bill Morrow at Senate Estimates Bill Morrow at Senate Estimates

The nbn company revealed last night in a Senate Estimates hearing that it has ordered $14 million of copper amounting to 1800 kilometres of twisted pair cables for the FttN component of the Coalition Government’s Multi-Technology-Mix (MTM) National Broadband Network.

nbn company formally launched the FttN phase of the NBN project one month ago and plans to have a half a million premises connected by June 2016.

In an often fiery series of exchanges in Senate Estimates between nbn CEO Bill Morrow and former ALP Communications Minister and FttP NBN advocate, Senator Stephen Conroy, Morrow and his assistant under questioning said that the nbn had ordered $14 million worth of copper.

According to nbn CEO, Bill Morrow, the copper for the FttN rollout was ordered from the local office of Italian cable manufacturer Prysmian Group, which will need to ramp its production to meet the demand

“How much copper is that in quantitative terms,” asked Senator Conroy.

“One million eight hundred and 63 thousand metres - 1800 kilometres,” answered nbn CEO Bill Morrow’s assistant.

“It’s a hundred pair and two hundred pair type cables depending on the size of the node,” said Morrow on further questioning from Conroy about the nature of the copper.

“Put this in perspective - it’s about 350 metres of copper per node in the FttN environment.”

“How many nodes are you having?” asked Conroy.

“That’s a purchase for the next six months of construction activity,” answered Morrow, who was then corrected by his assistant that the purchase was for five months.

Under Prime Minister Malcolm Turbull’s planned MTM NBN, more than 40% of the network will be serviced by FttN cabinets strategically placed at the end of streets with copper completing the connections from the cabinets to premises, including homes and businesses.

However, it was not clear whether the copper connecting to premises from the cabinets would be the existing ageing Telstra copper infrastructure or if new copper cable would be required. That question appears to have been answered.

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Stan Beer assists with Digital Advertising installation and monitoring of advert performance. With 35 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications. Any previous news story submissions should be director to and advertising enquires to

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