Australia's telcos have not stopped rolling out broadband infrastructure such as ADSL Multiplexer (DSLAM) hardware in exchanges, despite the Federal Government's $43 billion National Broadband Network plans.
The Croydon (Vic) exchange area
iiNet CEO Michael Malone pointed out that despite a dearth of information on the government's plans, the network build looked to continue over the next five to eight years, with backhaul set to be upgraded to under-served areas over the next 12 months.
"Given those estimates, and unless we hear otherwise, iiNet intends to continue with its planned DSLAM roll-out, focusing on metropolitan areas for expansion, and hopefully being able to address some regional centres as well if backhaul is made available," he told ZDNet.com.au.
Internode's managing director Simon Hackett had already voiced his belief when the network was announced that his company and his rivals could continue to build.
"Leaving the copper network in place will maintain the current ADSL2+ competitive broadband environment, so that Internode and its rivals have many more years of useful ADSL2+ network building ahead... Bypassing the copper network also means the existing access regime can continue unchanged while the new network is put in place, in parallel," he said at the time.
The unformed nature of the government's plans meant that Soul would also be forging ahead. "The government's FTTH project still has many unknowns so our business and DSLAM roll-out is moving forward as planned," a spokesperson for the carrier said.
Optus was a notable exception in that it had no plans to further its footprint, but not due to the National Broadband Network. According to a spokesperson for the company, Optus had finished its DSLAM roll-out last year, bringing the total number it fielded to 366.
Telstra would not comment on the issue, but has not made any announcements saying it planned to stop its latest project, a Hybrid Fibre Coaxial upgrade which will allow around one million Melbourne customers to reach peak speeds of 100Mbps.