Will Telstra open its fibre network to competitors?

Telstra has refused to confirm reports it will allow rivals to access its proposed national fibre network. The telco is currently in talks with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) over the terms under which it would build the network, which will see fibre rolled out from telephone exchanges into neighbourhoods, providing broadband up to 12Mbps to some four million addresses.

Telstra has refused to confirm reports it will allow rivals to access its proposed national fibre network.

The telco is currently in talks with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) over the terms under which it would build the network, which will see fibre rolled out from telephone exchanges into neighbourhoods, providing broadband up to 12Mbps to some four million addresses.

Just one month after the project was announced in November, Telstra put plans to build the network on hold, after the federal government opted not to intervene to allow the telco to restrict third-party access to its planned new infrastructure.

While The Australian Financial Review newspaper this morning reported the telecommmunications heavyweight would allow rivals to access the network under the same terms as Telstra itself, spokesperson Rod Bruem said via telephone that he couldn't confirm the reports.

The newspaper quoted Telstra group managing director, public policy and communications Phil Burgess as saying competition in the network would focus on the application layer rather than the infrastructure layer.

Bruem declined to make Burgess available for comment.

Telstra is currently facing increasing competition at the infrastructure layer from telcos like Optus and iiNet that are putting their own hardware in Telstra's telephone exchanges.

But The Australian Financial Review reported that Telstra would not allow the networks being built by those competitors to operate alongside Telstra's.

The article stated Telstra will replace the copper cables used by competitors with fibre optic cables, cutting off hardware in exchanges from end customers rather than letting both networks run simultaneously.

Further clarity on the issue is expected in the next few weeks, with Telstra chief executive Sol Trujillo expected to use a speech to the National Press Club in Canberra on 29 June to lay out Telstra's plans.

Newsletters

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All