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TPG plans fibre to the building NBN alternative

Internet service provider TPG plans on expanding its fibre-to-the-building offering to 500,000 places in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

As the future of the National Broadband Network (NBN) is being assessed by the incoming Coalition government, TPG is currently planning to deliver fibre-to-the-building broadband services to approximately 500,000 units in the metropolitan areas of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth.

The company announced in its annual results today, and said that it is aiming to increase the number of buildings connected to its fibre backhaul network in metro areas and to offer download speeds to consumers of up to 100Mbps.

The plans will be AU$69.99 per month with unlimited downloads, with an AU$129.99 setup fee for a 24-month contract.

In the last financial year, TPG's fibre network grew by 800km and 300 buildings, meaning that the number of on-net buildings now covered by TPG's fibre network sits at 1,600.

A spokesperson for TPG told ZDNet that the type of connection would vary depending on the building.

"We will use a combination of different technologies in the building for FttB depending on premises type," the spokesperson said.

"One which will be popular will be VDSL technology, which uses the existing copper cables from apartment units/ offices down to the local [Main Distribution Frame] where our equipment will reside."

It comes as Communications Minister-Elect Malcolm Turnbull is due to be sworn in to government tomorrow, while the new Coalition government sets about reviewing NBN Co and the project as a whole. During the course of the election campaign, Turnbull highlighted work by wholesale network operator Openetworks in upgrading an apartment block in the inner west of Sydney to fibre to the node, and said he would encourage more fibre providers to undertake work of this kind in parallel to the NBN rollout.

TPG today reported a 64 percent jump in net profit after tax to AU$149.2 million on the back of growth in its broadband business, with 76,000 new customers signing up in the last financial year. As of the end of July, TPG has 671,000 broadband subscribers and 360,000 mobile subscribers.

TPG was the surprise bidder for digital dividend spectrum earlier this year, picking up 20MHz worth of the 2.5GHz spectrum band for AU$13.5 million. The company's plans for this spectrum still remain unclear, but the company told investors today that the acquisition will "complement [TPG's] fixed infrastructure, giving it opportunities to offer innovative, value-adding products to further its existing product suite".

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