NBN gets go ahead for multi-technology mix rollout

The Australian competition watchdog has approved a migration plan for Telstra to move customers onto the NBN using the company's legacy copper and HFC networks as part of the so-called multi-technology mix rollout.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has given the company formerly known as NBN Co the green light to commence the large-scale rollout of fibre-to-the-node and hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) services on the National Broadband Network (NBN).

The ACCC on Friday announced that it had approved Telstra's revised migration plan for moving customers from the legacy Telstra networks onto the NBN.

The approval came seven months after Telstra and NBN entered into a revised AU$11 billion deal to allow NBN to take ownership of Telstra's copper network and HFC network assets to include in the shift away from the fibre-to-the-premises model to the combined fibre-to-the-node, fibre-to-the-building, and HFC model of the NBN.

The ACCC was not required to approve the revised deal, as it was authorised by the government, similar to the authorisation given to the previous deal by the former Labor government.

ACCC chair Rod Sims said the revised migration plan will give premises time to move to the NBN.

"The revised migration plan will better protect consumers from premature disconnection of their phone and internet services," Sims said in a statement.

There has been an extension on the time allowed for premises with alarms and lift phones to migrate, if they are registered with NBN.

Telstra CEO Andrew Penn said that with the ACCC approval now in place, Telstra would be working with NBN to transition over to the multi-technology mix.

"We will continue our focus on delivering our commitments to support the rollout of the NBN and providing Telstra customers with a quality customer service experience as they move onto the NBN," he said in a statement.

"Our goal is to make the migration experience as seamless as possible for our customers, no matter where they live or what technology will be used to provide their NBN experience."

Construction work is under way for fibre to the node to 400,000 premises, but NBN CEO Bill Morrow said that with the deals in place, NBN is now in a position to "accelerate" the rollout.

"Over the past 12 months, our employees and partners have delivered an impressive turnaround in the performance of the company. Today, one in 10 homes and businesses can receive an NBN service with nearly double that amount set to start construction over the next 18 months," he said.

"Our task is to complete the build in the next five years, and our agreement with Telstra will help us to do just that. Using existing infrastructure means we can build the NBN network sooner and at less cost to taxpayers than originally anticipated. What's more, all the technologies being used in the NBN network can be upgraded to deliver even faster speeds and greater capacity when consumer demand calls for it."

Telstra is planning and designing the multi-technology mix NBN, but the company did not secure construction deals.

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