NBN Co to have $312m in equity injections

$260m received to date with $50m spent on running the business

NBN Co has received $260 million in equity injections to date with a further $52 million coming in the “next week or so”.

At a senate estimates committee today NBN Co chief executive, Mike Quigley, outlined the company’s progress in an opening statement and revealed the figures under questioning from Liberal Senators.

Asked what the taxpayer exposure would be if NBN Co were wrapped up by a change of government, Quigley said he hadn’t considered the cost, but at best guess the major costs would be covered and the company has not committed to anything beyond the $312 million in equity injections.

“There is a total of $260 million in equity injections that have taken place so far, that is probably five, but I can check on that,” Quigley said. “Five separate occurrences for a total of $260 million.”

The NBN Co chief executive said that money had been spent with roughly $50 million being used in an operational expenditure account and the rest in a capital expenditure account.

“There is one that is, we expect, to be paid in the next week or so of another $52 million – which will take us to $312 million,” Quigley said. “After that we haven’t had any detailed discussions on particular equity injections after that point.”

When pressed on what money had been spent to date, Quigley said he would need to defer to his chief financial officer who wasn’t present, but said $50 million had been spent (OpEx) to the end of April on things such as recruitment, leasing properties, insurance and other regular expenditure in running a business.

He also indicated a software contract that had been signed was worth $20 million. It was not made clear whether this refered to NBN Co’s signing of a contract with Oracle.

Additionally, communications minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, said the backhaul rollout in Tasmania cost $38 million.

Quigley also said the company had employed 230 people to date and would have 300 by end of June.

He expects NBN Co to roll out 250,000 km of fibre cable into the network with most of that being fibre where it is not present today.

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