NBN Co strikes back against TPG

NBN Co strikes back against TPG

Summary: NBN Co has announced it will target apartment blocks and offices in CBD's in a "commercial response" to companies like TPG planning large-scale network rollouts to those areas.

TOPICS: NBN, Telcos, TPG, Australia

NBN Co has fired a shot across the bow of TPG with new plans to speed up its rollout of fibre to inner city buildings across Australia in response to TPG's fibre to the building plans for 500,000 apartments.

Apartments and offices in Haymarket in Sydney, Newfarm and Fortitude Valley in Brisbane, and South Melbourne will be the first to get upgraded under the plans fast-tracked by NBN Co today.

The services in those areas are expected to be up and running by the middle of this year, in direct response to TPG's plans to provide fibre to the building project to 500,000 premises across metropolitan locations in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, and Perth.

NBN Co said today that the rollout to inner-city premises will be run in parallel to rolling out the network to under-served areas in Australia.

NBN Co will roll out fibre to the premises in those areas initially targeted by the company, and construction crews are expected to be available to build the network based on the construction lines NBN Co has put in place since the Strategic Review.

NBN Co CEO Bill Morrow said today that the company was reacting to concern that TPG and others might require building owners to sign agreements locking those commercial providers in as the only supplier of broadband services to a building. He said that NBN Co would offer a better deal to consumers.

"The NBN levels the playing field for Australian telecommunications and creates real and vibrant competition. We can make this statement because the NBN doesn't sell directly to consumers and is open to all retail service providers to use on equal terms," he said in a statement.

"Vertically-integrated carriers — companies that both own networks and market to consumers — cannot offer those same guarantees. A building that signs up to TPG runs the risk of being left with only one retail service provider – TPG itself.

"We believe NBN represents the superior solution for building owners and the families and businesses they house. There are 44 retail service providers operating over the NBN, representing more than 90 per cent of the retail broadband market."

NBN Co chairman Ziggy Switkowski has previously flagged that NBN Co would have a "commercial response" to TPG's proposal, and the government is considering closing a loophole in the existing anti-cherrypicking legislation that has allowed TPG to expand its network.

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said that it is unclear whether TPG's actions are even exempt under the Act, and has said that the Michael Vertigan panel conducting a cost-benefit analysis into broadband will address the concerns of NBN Co.

Topics: NBN, Telcos, TPG, 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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  • Rollouts will end, "there can only be one".

    It’s easy to criticise NBN in opposition, when the installation progress was slow and the punters were all anxiously awaiting their NBN connections and jumping up and down insisting on daily progress reports and continually hammering the slow progress of NBN Co.

    Labor’s NBN Co suffered from poor planning and failure to make more pragmatic installation decisions. Some of those decisions were political in nature specifically the priority given to rural areas. They didn’t care a lot for the NBN and would have preferred bigger produce subsidies and drought handouts.

    NBN was always going to have slow initial planning and slow installation, this scale of project not ever being done before in Australia.There was no trained labour force and problems like asbestos kept popping up. It was always going to take many years for the installation speeds to ramp up.

    Now we’ve got Mr Flawedband and his Notional Fraudband Network, he doesn’t know what to do. TPG (and the others will follow) wanting to install competitive private enterprise networks, to quickly out manoeuvre NFN Co. Flawedband’s NFN co will end as an on budget money sinkhole if he allows “private enterprise”.Private Enterprise is the coalition’s holy writ.

    In the end all the rollouts will end it’s zero sum game of customers where only one network can be profitable. With multiple rollouts everybody looses, when everybody looses the money disappears quickly all rollouts stop and go no further. It’s been tried before we all know what happened so why is this fool Flawedband not standing up like a man and facing the issue instead of continually engaging in media doublespeak and spinman spiels.

    He's made no progress at all there is no "getting on with it", no negotiations with Telstra and Optus are even planned in the immediate future, only satellite FTTB/FTTH can proceed today.
    HCF and FTTN are unlikely to start until mid to late 2015 giving him maybe 12 months to complete his promised 25Mbs to 90% in his first term, it just can't be done.

    Competition in utilities like electricity, water, gas, sewerage and telecoms has never ever been delivered anywhere ever, despite the "artificial illusions of competitions that politicians deliver with smoke and mirrors and sacks of spin"
    How is "electricity" competitive when you can't hook-up your house to another supplier, and the prices are state regulated, it's only a politician that would try to sell this, it makes 2014 look like 1984.

    There is only one rule with utilities it's the Highlander Rule "there can only be one".
    Kevin Cobley
  • What hypocrisy

    Nbn co already have a harsh exclusivity clause in their developer agreement. See item 1.3. What hypocrisy. The bigger shock is that there is not a national outcry that these NBNCo half wits already running at a loss of $1 billion and getting more taxpayer handouts, including from TPG, are now using these funds to compete against TPG investor funding. Not only is this morally wrong but also contrary to long help competitive neutrality legislation. The lack of outcry is akin to a group of bystanders cheering on a mugging and will be marked as a shameful point in Australian history.
    • I didn't realise

      That TPG shareholders are paying for the roll out of a Wholesale only Ubiquitous National Broadband Network covering 93% of the population, covering the rest by wireless and Satellite, we are fortunate have a National choice of cutting edge wholesale infrastructure provider. That is the ONLY way they could be classed as a COMPETITOR, otherwise considering the National Interest they are just saboteurs
      Abel Adamski
    • Geez

      Rossy we must have you do the planning and development of all major projects, as you are capable of making a profit 20% into the project where all the major capital works and expenditure are sunk.

      Truly you must be a genius
      Abel Adamski