NBN Co hires its first chief operating officer

Former BT Group UK managing director, Ralph Steffens, will join NBN Co on 30 November

Following a management restructure of NBN Co in August where chief financial officer, Jean-Pascal Beaufret, announced his retirement, the company has hired a chief operating officer.

In the newly created role, former BT Group UK service delivery managing director, Ralph Steffens, will have responsibility for construction of the National Broadband Network (NBN) as well as deployment planning, network operations and IT.

He will be based in Sydney and report to chief executive officer, Mike Quigley. Steffens will start on 30 November, 2011.

Born in Germany, Steffens oversaw the upgrade of Britain’s broadband infrastructure for BT. Prior to this, at COLT Telecom, he delivered a 15,000 kilometre Pan European telecommunications network across 12 countries.

Steffens said in a statement that delivering high speed broadband to every home and business across a continent the size of Australia represented an enormous challenge but the opportunities it would enable are endless.

The position of chief operating officer was one of a number of posts announced in August including head of construction, Dan Flemming; network operations’ Steve Christian; planning and design’s Peter Ferris; chief information officer, Claire Rawlins; new developments’ Archie Wilson; health safety and environment’s Kim Flanagan and local community relations, managed by Mike Kaiser.

Over the next 12 months, work is scheduled to begin constructing the NBN in towns and cities covering around 500,000 homes and businesses across Australia.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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