Telstra's controversial South Brisbane fibre network may potentially be sold to the National Broadband Network Company (NBN Co) as part of the $11 billion definitive agreement between the incumbent telco and the government wholesaler.
Telstra moved to replace its copper network to some 20,000 homes in the South Brisbane area with fibre optic cable following an agreement with the Queensland Government to close the South Brisbane exchange and sell the land to the government for a new hospital. In June, the telco began switching on services for customers, and the whole upgrade is expected to be completed by the end of 2012.
The negotiations underway between the two companies to sell this fibre network were outlined in a joint letter (PDF) to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) regarding the $11 billion definitive agreement, first reported by Communications Day.
"Under the [implementation and interpretation deed], Telstra and NBN Co have agreed to negotiate terms of an agreement for the deployment of fibre in the South Brisbane Exchange Area to facilitate the build of the [fibre to the premises] network covering the South Brisbane exchange serving area, including the price to be paid for the deployment of that fibre," the organisations explained in the letter.
"This is likely to include the sale to NBN Co of the fibre network built by Telstra in the South Brisbane exchange serving area, as well as terms and conditions relating to the provision of fibre services in that relevant area."
Telstra told CommsDay that the telco had planned to try to sell the fibre network to NBN Co since the project was first conceived. Telstra declined to add anything further on the negotiations when contacted by ZDNet Australia.
Around 40 per cent of the customers in South Brisbane are currently served by other telcos wholesaling services through Telstra. Telstra has been in discussions with these ISPs to migrate services across from the copper network to the fibre. iiNet has reluctantly agreed to transfer its customers over, but has slammed the incumbent for failing to offer all the features that customers currently get on the ADSL2+ services, such as FetchTV.
NBN Co had not responded to requests for comment at the time of writing.