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NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout

Commercial trial locations to go live in September

NBN Co Customer premises equipment

NBN Co – via Telstra Wholesale – has revealed which apartment blocks will be the first to get FTTP under commercial trials of a rollout plan designed to thwart cherry-picking by competitors.

The Telstra Wholesale rollout publication (PDF or Excel, here) obliquely identifies suburbs in Sydney (Millers Point and Haymarket), Melbourne (Docklands and South Melbourne) and Brisbane (Teneriffe in Fortitude Valley, and New Farm) as reaching ready-for-service status on 24 September 2014.

The move is formally designated a commercial trial, and will cover a total of around 2,000 premises within the connected MDUs (multi-dwelling units).

ISP and fibre operator TPG has become the fly in NBN Co's ointment, by announcing a fibre-to-the-basement (FTTB) rollout earlier in September 2013 with a plan to cover half a million households in MDUs with fibre-to-the-basement delivering 100 Mbps services.

That has put government policy in a bind, with the ACCC awaiting the outcome of the Vertigan cost-benefit analysis before it decides whether the TPG rollout should proceed, and if so, whether the competitor should be instructed to open its network on a wholesale basis.

NBN Co has told telecomms newsletter Communications Day that the commercial trial was delayed by negotiations with bodies corporate of the buildings involved.

Those negotiations were necessary because the network builder isn't yet ready to roll fibre-to-the-basement services, so the premises due to go online in September will be fibre all the way to the apartment – and that required building owners' permission to pull fibre in as a replacement for the existing copper.

NBN Co doesn't expect its own FTTB product to be ready until early 2015. ®

Bootnote: Commentards are right that Teneriffe and Fortitude Valley are adjacent suburbs on a map. El Reg is drawing from how the installation is described in the Telstra Wholesale document. ®

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