NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley has admitted that some existing fibre developers will be disadvantaged by the company offering last resort fibre to some new housing developments, but said that was inevitable, because the industry was being transformed by the National Broadband Network (NBN).
(Credit: Josh Taylor/ZDNet Australia)
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy announced in December last year that NBN Co would become the last resort fibre provider for new developments with 100 or more premises. The move guarantees that NBN Co will install fibre into developments if the developer doesn't choose an alternate provider.
Quigley said that some providers would inevitably miss out because of the new arrangements, but added that NBN Co had discussed this with providers.
"Let's not pretend though that we're [not] going through a transition here. The industry is being transformed and there are going to be changes that flow from that," he said.
Existing fibre providers are eligible to apply for NBN Co's tender calling for providers to be contracted by the company to install fibre in the new developments.
For developments with less than 100 premises, Telstra will still remain the last resort provider. Quigley said that should Telstra install copper in homes in these developments, NBN Co would ultimately treat that property no differently to any existing houses with copper connections.
"We'll treat that copper line no different from any other copper line," he said, adding that developers will still need to have an agreement in place with retail telecommunications companies to supply phone and internet services.
Quigley said that the vast majority of new developments were over 100 premises.
NBN Co has already received 70 applications from developers to have fibre laid by NBN Co since the scheme was brought in on 1 January. Quigley noted that developers were very keen to take up the offer.
"40 of them came in on New Year's Day. I thought this industry wound down over this period, but clearly not because quite a number have come in," he said.
He said the NBN Co expects to connect around 70,000 premises from the initial applications in January. Services will be able to be provided to these premises by February. He said a total of 170,000 premises were expected to be passed by June 2012.