Telstra has refused to confirm reports it
will allow rivals to access its proposed national fibre
The telco is currently in talks with the Australian
Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) over the terms under
which it would build the network, which will see fibre rolled out
from telephone exchanges into neighbourhoods, providing broadband
up to 12Mbps to some four million addresses.
Just one month after the project was announced in November, Telstra put plans to build the network on hold, after the federal government opted not to intervene to allow the telco to restrict third-party access to its planned new infrastructure.
While The Australian Financial Review newspaper this morning
reported the telecommmunications heavyweight would allow rivals to access the network under
the same terms as Telstra itself, spokesperson Rod Bruem
said via telephone that he couldn't confirm the reports.
The newspaper quoted Telstra group managing director, public
policy and communications Phil Burgess as saying competition in
the network would focus on the application layer rather than the
Bruem declined to make Burgess available for comment.
Telstra is currently facing increasing competition at the
infrastructure layer from telcos like Optus and iiNet that are
putting their own hardware in Telstra's telephone exchanges.
But The Australian Financial Review reported that Telstra
would not allow the networks being built by those competitors to
operate alongside Telstra's.
The article stated Telstra will replace the copper cables used
by competitors with fibre optic cables, cutting off hardware in
exchanges from end customers rather than letting both networks run simultaneously.
Further clarity on the issue is expected in the next few
weeks, with Telstra chief executive Sol Trujillo expected to use
a speech to the National Press Club in Canberra on 29 June to lay
out Telstra's plans.