The National Broadband Network Co (NBN Co) has announced the appointment of Ralph Steffens as the company’s first Chief Operation Officer (COO).


Mr Steffens, an experienced telecommunications executive, will have overall responsibility for the construction of the NBN as well as deployment planning, network operations and IT.


He will be based in Sydney and report to CEO Mike Quigley. He formally starts at the end of November.


Born in Germany, Mr Steffens joins NBN Co from the UK where he was, until recently, Managing Director, Service Delivery, for BT Group plc, the global telecommunications company headquartered in London. Mr Steffens led a team of 4000 people across the globe responsible for the company's multinational corporate customers as well as its international network and infrastructure.


He also presided over two major network rollouts across Europe. At BT he oversaw the upgrade of Britain's broadband infrastructure. Prior to this, at COLT Telecom, he delivered a 15,000km Pan European telecommunications network across 12 countries.


Welcoming Mr Steffens' appointment, NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley said: "As an experienced telecommunications executive who has presided over major network rollouts across Europe, Ralph is ideally suited to the role of overseeing this vital upgrade of Australia's telecommunications infrastructure."