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Ex-BT exec secures NBN Co COO role

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NBN Co will be importing its first chief operating officer from the UK with the appointment of former BT executive Ralph Steffens to the role.

Moving to Australia at the end of November and working in the Sydney office of NBN Co, Steffens will report to CEO Mike Quigley and have overarching responsibility for the construction of the National Broadband Network as well as deployment planning, network operations and IT.

Steffens’ addition to the executive team is a coup for the infrastructure carrier, bringing the experience as a lead player in BT’s complex 21CN network transformation project. The project not only swapped out BT's legacy PSTN network but also featured the juggling of a comprehensive mix of vendors and equipment platforms across an intense network deployment.

He joins NBN after a short period working as an independent telecommunications consultant. Up until recently Steffens held the role MD Service Delivery at the BT Group prior to that he was a Senior Director Network Solutions for four years.

Born in Germany, Steffens started his career as an engineer at COLT Telecom where he had a variety of roles including delivering COLT’s 15,000km pan European telecommunications network across 12 countries.

Steffens said, “I’m proud to be joining a visionary project that is the envy of the world. Delivering high speed-broadband to every home and business across a continent the size of Australia represents an enormous challenge but the opportunities it will enable are endless. I’m genuinely excited about the ability to participate in the building of the NBN.” ®

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