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IiNet offloads fibre network to NBN Co

Exits Canberra FTTP market

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In a bit of a game of pass-the-parcel, the fibre-to-the-home network assets that iiNet bought when it acquired TransACT Communications last year has been passed on to NBN Co for a minimum of $AU9 million.

The FTTH was a relatively small part of TransACT's network assets: it also had (through its own acquisition of Neighborhood Cable in 2007) an HFC-based network, in regional Victoria (it covered Ballarat, Geelong and Mildura); its own VDSL-based FTTP network; along with fibre and data centre assets in the ACT, all of which became part of iiNet in a $AU60 million acquisition in 2011.

The TransACT FTTP network currently passes 8,500 premises, for which NBN Co will be paying $AU9 million. Construction is planned or has begun to pass a further 4,500 premises, and completion of this would result in the further $AU5 million payment.

So far, only a limited number of premises are connected to the network. In December 2012, iiNet's total fibre-connected customers nationally – including those the company has connected as an NBN retailer – stood at 11,000.

According to telecommunications industry newsletter Communications Day, iiNet and NBN Co have no plans to negotiate further over the future of the HFC or VDSL networks. iiNet states that it intends to continue operating those networks, and will continue providing open access to the networks to other carriers. ®

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