With the upcoming strategic review due at the end of November, NBN Co has issued a request for proposals to a "select number of consultants" to provide expert advice and skills, with the company set to announce the winning consultancies next week.
"The strategic review is a comprehensive exercise led by NBN Co to determine how best to provide access to very fast broadband to all Australians as soon, as cost-effectively, and as affordably as possible. While the review is underway, construction of the network continues," executive chair Ziggy Switskowski said.
"The strategic review is due to be submitted to the company's shareholder ministers, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Finance Minister Matthias Cormann, in early December."
Switkowski said results from the consultations would be used in the 2014-17 Corporate Plan, due to be delivered to the Government in the first half of 2014.
The move contradicts earlier comments by Turnbull, who had previously called for NBN Co to largely be self-sufficient, as reported by The Australian newspaper.
"It's really important that the directors and the management own this," Turnbull said earlier this month. "They should get advice from experts, you know, inside the company, outside the company - sure. But they have got to, at the end of the day, be able to say to the government, as shareholder, this is where we honestly, genuinely, objectively, soberly believe this project is right now."
Meanwhile an NBN Co spokesperson said the review would benefit from the assistance of expert consultants. The strategic review is one of four inquiries that Turnbull intends to complete before next year.
Former Communications Minister Stephen Conroy made headlines last week when he described the previous NBN incarnation as "too ambitious", admitting the construction model deserved criticism.
iTWire will be interviewing Switkowski in coming weeks.