Telstra has released the details of new fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) network plans, declaring that a commercial pilot of the system will commence in new Queensland estates around June of this year.
Emerging from extensive laboratory testing, the fibre network will be built into selected sites, including a new estate in Greater Springfield and an apartment building on the Gold Coast.
Telstra anticipates that FTTP will be "selectively deployed by commercial negotiations" in newly built estates and new or refurbished multi-dwelling building over the next few years.
Telstra's chief executive officer, Dr Ziggy Switkowski, describes the new technology as an "economically efficient and innovative next generation infrastructure". However, he maintains that it will not replace the existing copper systems.
"FTTP is another string in our technology bow. It will play a future role in Telstra's network, along with copper, radio and satellite technologies, to ensure our customers have access to the latest innovative products and services," said Dr Switkowski.
A spokesman from Telstra claims the company will focus on new estates and new apartment buildings in the short-term, saying "it's not realistic at this time to dig up the streets with the copper network in them and replace them with fibre".
Telstra claim the FTTP network will enable the traditional network services of digital subscription television, broadband and telephony data transfer, with new capabilities to support high definition TV.
"For residential customers living in the commercial pilot areas, the benefits of FTTP technology include rapid access to broadband data services without service qualification checks, digital subscription television and multiple voice telephony services with fewer delays," said Dr Switkowski, adding "Customers will have easier and ready access to future enhanced products and services from the same access platform."
Alcatel have been selected by Telstra to provide the equipment for the FTTP pilot in Queensland.