Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/10/03/telstra_copper_maintenance_contract/

Telstra hands copper contract to new company

And kicks off copper upgrade

By Richard Chirgwin

Posted in Business, 3rd October 2011 22:30 GMT

A company that’s only existed since 2010 has won a deal worth as much as $100 million over nine years to provide subcontracting services on Telstra’s copper network.

The contract covers customer installations and fault maintenance on the copper network, including telephony, broadband, ULL, and jumpering between Telstra exchanges and customer premises. Initially for five years, the contract could be extended to nine.

ISG Management displaces former copper contractors Silcar and Service Stream.

The new copper deal comes as news emerges of a ramp-up of the carrier’s copper upgrade. According to industry e-mail newsletter Communications Day, Telstra is planning to upgrade copper broadband services with the installation of more than 2,000 “top hat” street cabinet extensions.

To be supplied by Alcatel-Lucent, the cabinet upgrades bring the DSLAM closer to the customer, enabling higher speed (perhaps reaching VDSL2’s 100 Mbps for those close the installs).

In spite of the ongoing rollout of the National Broadband Network, Telstra justified its spending on the copper, saying that in the targeted exchange areas, delivery of the NBN fibre would take long enough that its upgrade would achieve a return.

The incumbent is also planning upgrades in some exchanges, with higher-density DSLAM infrastructure. ®