NBN CEO Bill Morrow answers broadband questions

NBN boss announces resignation

THE HEAD of Australia's most expensive infrastructure project has resigned and will leave two years before it's due to be completed.

NBN Co chief executive Bill Morrow today announced he would stop work on the National Broadband Network before the end of the year in the latest high-profile departure for the company.

The American executive, who headed Vodafone Hutchison Australia prior to joining NBN Co, will have worked on the project for four years when he departs, having taken over from former Telstra CEO Ziggy Switkowski in April 2014.

Departing NBN chief executive Bill Morrow oversaw the rollout of fibre-to-the-node connections. Picture: Supplied
Departing NBN chief executive Bill Morrow oversaw the rollout of fibre-to-the-node connections. Picture: Supplied

Mr Morrow said he would leave NBN Co as it began a new phase in its broadband rollout.

"I believe that as the company prepares to confront the new challenges ahead, this is the right time to hand over the reins for the next phase of this incredible project and for me to plan for the next step in my career," he said in a statement.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull praised Mr Morrow for doing an "amazing job" to fix the "trainwreck" the NBN was under the Labor Government.

Mr Turnbull called it the biggest turnaround in Australian history.

He said the project was now about two-thirds completed and was on track to be completed by 2020.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and Communications Minister Mitch Fifield also thanked Mr Morrow for his "outstanding leadership".

In a joint statement today, the ministers said the NBN had met all of its operational and financial targets under his guidance.

"When Mr Morrow commenced in the role, the NBN was available to around 300,000 premises," the statement said.

"The network is now available to more than 6.4 million homes and businesses across the nation with more than 3.7 million already connected.

"More than 100,000 premises are being connected every month."

NBN Co said it would launch a "global search" for his replacement.

Mr Morrow announced his resignation just two months after chief corporate affairs officer Karina Keisler revealed she would leave NBN Co in August.

The $49 billion National Broadband Network was designed to deliver high-speed broadband connections to most Australian homes and businesses by 2020.

It has come under fire from users, however, with complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman up more than 160 per cent in the first six months of last year, and the rollout of its HFC cable connections recently delayed by up to nine months due to poor service.



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