"I'm pleased to announce a special interest group to meet with Telstra about IP core migration," the user group's managing director Rosemary Sinclair told its annual conference in Sydney this morning. "The group will meet every couple of months."
Sinclair said ATUG was concerned about the impact of Telstra's move. "What are the practical effects for end users of Telstra's IP core network migration?" she asked the audience, composed of representatives from telecommunications users from the public and private sectors, as well as Telstra and other telcos.
Telstra announced the infrastructure investment in November last year as part of a wide-ranging strategy review conducted by the telco's chief executive Sol Trujillo. The upgrade will cost an estimated AU$10 billion over the next five years, and is due to be in place by the end of 2007.
Other Telstra issues on Sinclair's mind included the heavyweight's plans to replace its regional CDMA mobile phone network and the impact of the redevelopment of its billing system.
Sinclair said ATUG would be watching closely discussions on similar issues being held between the United Kingdom's Communications Managers Association and British Telecom.
Speaking more generally, Sinclair said ensuring there was an effective operational separation of Telstra was the key task before the Australian telecommunications industry in 2006.
Earlier this year Telstra released a draft document outlining proposals to separate its divisions, and is currently seeking public comment on its plans before a final strategy is presented in March to the federal government.
ATUG believed operational separation would certainly be difficult to implement, said Sinclair, but "certainly essential".