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Vocus sets sights on top-three fibre ranking in Australia

Vocus Communications has its sights set on becoming the third-most connected fibre network player in the local market by 2016, according to CEO James Spenceley.
Written by Leon Spencer, Contributor

Australian dark fibre and datacentre provider, Vocus Communications, has set its sights on becoming the third-most connected fibre network provider in Australia, according to its chief James Spenceley.

Spenceley told attendees at the CommsDay Global Telecom Week in Sydney today that he wanted the company to settle into third place after Telstra and Optus in the local fibre network stakes. 

"Our next goal for 2014-2015 is to own the third most connected fibre network in the country," Spenceley told guests in his keynote presentation for the event's Australasia wholesale and datacentre summit.

"Obviously, Telstra and Optus have a massive head start over everybody else, but we think that at the rate we're currently growing — in terms of connected buildings and fibre in the ground — we will have, by the end of 2015, the third most connected number of buildings in the country."

There was no mention, however, of NBN Co's nation-wide fibre rollout.

According to Spenceley, the company currently claims around 600 kilometres of fibre already either in the ground or in-build across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, and Newcastle, with over 900 buildings in those areas hooked up to Vocus fibre.

"It's a massive goal for us, but that we think will be imminently achievable and one that will be specifically important to wholesale customers," he said.

Spenceley's comments comes as the national broadband network builder NBN Co, and ISP telco TPG, battle it out for a market lead in fibre-to-the-building (FttB) infrastructure.

In April, NBN Co announced it would target apartment blocks and offices in CBDs, speeding up the rate of its fibre rollout to inner city buildings around the country, in a clear challenge to TPG, which revealed in March that it was already conducting live trials of its service.

In September last year, TPG announced plans to deliver FttB services to 500,000 units across several major cities, including Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, placing it in direct competition with the government's national broadband network rollout.

In his presentation, Spenceley also revealed that the company had a second goal to aim for by the beginning of 2016: To become the "most loved" telco in the country.

"One of our highest and our most important goals today is to be the most loved telco in Australia," he said. "This is the first time we're publicly talking about that, but it's an exciting goal and it's a little bit different from the traditional goals, like integrity, respect communications.

"To be loved, obviously we have to do right by our customers, have great products and really have a rock-solid network."

Spenceley's announcement comes only weeks after his company told thousands of former iBOSS and One Seniors customers that their lost services would not be reconnected, following Vocus' purchase of the failed telecommunications providers' business and customer-base.

"Due to the complexity of the web of companies of the previous owners and the lack of support of the other telecommunications suppliers (other than Telstra) it is not possible to get the user services back online," said Vocus in a statement on 8 May.

Although the customers' services were disrupted due to the administration of AsiaPAC and its subsidiaries, iBOSS and One Telecom, it remains to be seen whether public backlash will impact Vocus' goal to become "most loved" telco in the market.

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