NBN Co 'commercial response' to TPG due by September

Summary:Apartments and offices in New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland will be connected to the NBN Co's fibre by 24 September, as part of the company's plan to speed up its fibre rollout in a "commercial response" to TPG.

The latest NBN Co rollout and Disconnection Dates (PDF) list published by Telstra has revealed that NBN Co plans to rollout its fibre to apartments and offices in areas targeted by TPG by 24 September.

The document shows that the NBN fibre-to-the-building rollout will hit Millers Point in NSW, Sydney's Haymarket, South Melbourne, Melbourne's Docklands, along with Queensland's New Farm, and Fortitude Valley.

A spokesperson for NBN Co said that the delay from the original " middle of the year " target was due to finalising agreements with each of the bodies corporate in the rollout areas.

"These are buildings that will form the market trial, which is intended to test our processes, systems and capabilities for releasing  and deploying single Multiple-Dwelling Units," the spokesperson said.

"Nevertheless, our view remains the same as it was in April: the NBN represents the sensible solution for owners of MDUs and the families and businesses they house. That's because as a wholesale only open access network,  the NBN offers a level playing field for all retail telecommunications providers and therefore opens up real retail competition."

NBN Co sped up its fibre rollout to these high-value areas as a "commercial response" to TPG's plans to provide fibre to the building to 500,000 premises across metropolitan locations in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, and Perth.

TPG announced last September , in its annual results, that it was aiming to increase the number of buildings connected to its fibre backhaul network in metro areas and to offer download speeds to consumers of up to 100Mbps.

In February, NBN Co chairman Ziggy Switkowski said that while TPG's plans did not appear to be a threat to the company, he admitted that cherry picking — infrastructure builders rolling out their own fibre networks in highly profitable areas — could undermine the business model for the NBN.

"Any cherry-picking initiative by companies like TPG and others has the potential to undermine the economics of NBN Co," he said at the time.

Topics: NBN, Australia

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Leon covers enterprise technology and start-ups from ZDNet's Sydney newsroom.

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