Telstra gets 90Mbps in fibre to the building NBN trials

Telstra has reported peak download speeds of 90Mbps and peak upload speeds of 30Mbps in a trial of NBN Co's fibre to the building technology in Melbourne.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

Telstra's group executive of regulatory affairs, Tony Warren, has said Telstra's trial for fibre to the building across eight apartment blocks in Melbourne with NBN Co has delivered peak download speeds of 90Mbps and upload speeds of 30Mbps.

The trial, which ZDNet reported last week is due to be finished at the end of April, had been a big success for Telstra, Warren told the CommsDay Summit audience in Sydney today.

"We have a set of customers receiving fibre to the building services now as part of an NBN trial down in Melbourne, across eight apartment blocks. It's early days, but we have several customers in the buildings getting peak speeds of over 90Mbps down, and 30Mbps up using the existing in-building copper connection," he said.

"This represents a four-to-fivefold increase on what these people previously had available."

Warren said the early results were showing that NBN Co is well placed to offer fibre to the building, layer 2 wholesale services.

The results are significantly lower than the single trial in Melbourne that Turnbull announced late last year, with results at 108Mbps down, and 48Mbps up.

A spokesperson for Telstra later confirmed it was a VDSL2 vectoring trial, but would not provide averages on the speeds achieved in the trial.

"It is too soon for meaningful averages but the speeds of over 90 down and 30 up are being achieved consistently. We are not in a position to comment on the specifics of the sites involved in the trial other than to say they are all multi-premise buildings," the spokesperson said.

Warren said he was currently in the "fun-filled world" of renegotiating with NBN Co and the government over its existing AU$11 billion deal looking to adjust it to allow NBN Co to utilise Telstra's existing copper infrastructure for fibre to the node, and its hybrid-fibre coaxial (HFC) network as part of the so-called multi-technology model proposed by NBN Co in its strategic review last year.

Warren said that negotations were progressing, were very constructive, and he said that a new deal would likely be reached "in a reasonable timeframe."

In a shot at TPG's movement into offering fibre to the building services to 500,000 premises across Australia's capital cities, Warren said that Telstra had an expectation that while Telstra supported infrastructure-based competition, there is an expectation as part of Telstra's own structural separation that other fixed-line providers would be expected to offer similar wholesale access.

"This doesn't mean other parties can't invest in infrastructure; it means that regardless of the provider, we expect a high-speed layer 2 wholesale product will be available for all retail service providers using a common interface and on the same terms that NBN Co is offering an equivalent service," he said.

Warren said NBN Co had improved its performance in migrating customers onto the NBN, but called on the industry body, the Communications Alliance, to work with Telstra, NBN Co and the industry to work on a seamless, end-to-end, migration model. He rejected the notion of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) stepping in to regulate migration onto the NBN, stating that the industry was better placed to handle the issue.

"We, the industry, need to refocus on the end to end process and make it far more effective and efficient. It's for them we are doing this for. I think this will mean a shift away from a traditional regulatory structure,' he said.

Warren also warned against NBN Co stepping in to allow commercial mobile providers from accessing its infrastructure to build out their mobile networks, stating it would amount to government intervention in a competitive market. Despite this, Warren said Telstra remained supportive of the federal government's AU$100 million blackspots program, and said Telstra would participate in the tender process.

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