ACCC casts eye on NBN Co's 'pull through' fibre drops

ACCC casts eye on NBN Co's 'pull through' fibre drops

Summary: The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is evaluating NBN Co's "pull through" method of installing fibre, which disconnects a customer's existing connection during installation.


The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is examining NBN Co's process of disconnecting the existing copper and hybrid-fibre coaxial (HFC) cables at the time of installing National Broadband Network (NBN) fibre in some locations.

As part of NBN Co's opt-out method of installing fibre to the 93 percent of premises across Australia, detailed in the updated NBN Co corporate plan released this year, it has developed a "pull through" method that sees the existing copper or HFC cables disconnected and attached to the fibre cable to pull it through the existing conduit. Once the pull through is complete, the copper or HFC service can be reconnected, if required.

It is only to be used if NBN Co can't install the cable through the existing conduit in any other method. If the pull through can't be used, then NBN Co will install a new conduit or do an aerial drop to the premise.

The pull through method will only be used once the user requests a service on the NBN through a retail service provider.

The overall process and the shift to an opt-out method for the roll-out of the fibre is designed to cut cost through re-using existing infrastructure and making more efficient use of construction crews undertaking the fibre drop across the country.

It is up to Telstra to obtain consent from its wholesale customers, such as iiNet or TPG, to use the pull through method, and Telstra must respond to pull through inquiries from NBN Co within an hour.

NBN Co then lets the end user know when the outage will start and end, and will reconnect the copper or HFC when it is completed. If it fails, NBN Co will try to install a temporary cable.

The ACCC has put out a consultation paper (PDF) that outlines the issues that NBN Co may face during the roll-out using this process, and is seeking comment on how consent from wholesale customers should be obtained, and how customers should be notified during the pull-through process.

The paper is open for comment until February 1, 2013.

Topics: NBN, Government, Government AU, Australia


Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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  • Good...

    As a pro-NBNer, I find it heartening that the ACCC is looking out for consumer and keeping NBNCo honest, as they should.

    I support the NBN for Aussies not politics or NBNCo.

    Interestingly, with this in mind let's now consider FttN cut over?
    • yep, that's their job, however we should expect the inevitable spin and whinging from the Australian (and Turnbull) soon enough despite the straight forward method laid out.
      Hubert Cumberdale
      • Spoken like those that have never pulled cable

        That the ACCC is still investigating this technique 3 years into NBNCo reinforces the farce.

        Whilst unavoidable, many things can go wrong with this technique. outage time should be treated with suspicion. Who pays for the new cable to be restored?

        Batt boy a FTTN network reduces the uncertainty, avoids the complicated connection to premises. HFC avoids both. High speed internet for a fraction of the price, in shorter timeframe.
        Richard Flude
        • Dearest car counter...

          You certainly "pull the cable" regularly ;)
        • Too many questions left unanswered with Malcolms plan

          for it to be considered a realistic alternative.

          1. He hasn't factored in the cost of buying/renting the actual CAN. Analysts have stated that could cost as much as $40B, which would make the cost of an FTTN (for a non-incumbent) even more expensive than the current FTTP. Even using the ACCC basic CAN replacement cost ($17.5B), that still puts an FTTN not that far behind the FTTP. Doesn't really seem that much "cheaper" to me, or very good value for money.

          2. Renegotiation and legislation for an FTTN will take at least 4 years before they can even start on an FTTN. Even with the 6 month delay caused by Telstra, the FTTP would be finished "sooner" than an FTTN.

          Instead of relying on ideology, how about you engage some of that critical thinking they would have taught you when you were at university...
        • No wonder...

          "Somebody" (pun intended) is always so bitter...

        • "That the ACCC is still investigating this technique 3 years into NBNCo reinforces the farce. "

          The only farce here is you still thinking you can be considered credible when commenting on this topic.
          Hubert Cumberdale
  • Now now HC

    He is the CIO of a car counting devices company... which apparently is the pinnacle all Aussies who want to be 'somebody' should aspire to :/

    Plus it is Xmas :)
    • "Plus it is Xmas :)"

      Oh of course, how could I forget. Must be Beomics busy season. Think of all those xmas shoppers to count! Hey, come to think of it aren't most people doing their xmas shopping online these days? I know I do... I got my sister a hideous chicken foot backscratcher :-)
      Hubert Cumberdale
  • Nice...

    I'm sure she deserves it...LOL

    Have a good one mate :)