AusBBS moves early to get customers on TPG FttB network

Sydney telco AusBBS is claiming to be the first in the Australian market to offer customers new retail fibre-to-the-basement network products supplied wholesale by TPG's subsidiary AAPT.
Written by Leon Spencer, Contributor

Sydney-based telco AusBBS is moving early to get its customers onto TPG's fibre-to-the-basement (FttB) network, with the company claiming to be the first in the market to offer a new retail product supplied by the wholesale business of TPG's subsidiary AAPT.

AusBBS announced on March 16 that it has begun connecting its customers to AAPT Wholesale's FttB network with the offering of two plans: Unlimited data for AU$59.95 per month, or unlimited data and unlimited local and STD calls for AU$69.95.

The Bondi Junction-headquartered company's CEO Rob Appel said that he believes AusBBS is the first independent ISP to release TPG FttB retail products. TPG temporarily withdrew its FttB product from sale in January in order to accommodate changes required to meet a new direction from Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull to provide a wholesale product over the rising alternative to the National Broadband Network (NBN). It then moved to make it available for wholesale through AAPT.

"We wanted to get to market quickly with this product," Appel told ZDNet. "We've been waiting for it to become available through AAPT for quite a while. As the industry politics has played out, we've been preparing.

"We're a newer company, and we're able to move pretty quickly. And it's always good to get it to market early," he said.

In September last year, TPG began connecting some of the 500,000 apartments it plans to roll out its FttB services to in Australian capital cities, after acquiring a substantial number of fibre backbone networks from its AAPT purchase in late 2013.

However, in December last year, Turnbull said that he would move to create a carrier licence condition that companies operating such networks must have separate wholesale and retail arms in order to avoid companies undermining the cross-subsidised business model for the NBN.

AusBBS also claims to have been the first Australian ISP to offer households high-speed unlimited NBN plans.

Appel said that the company has already seen a rapid uptake of new products, and is positioning itself to make the most of Australia's broadband infrastructure as it is rolled out across the country.

"We're running at full capacity for a small team," he said. "We've got 10 people on staff now, and we're very, very busy. For us, it's a matter of keeping the resource level just right for managing the opportunity.

"We've positioned ourselves to get the brand out there, ready for when the NBN really gets up and running," he said.

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