NBN will take ownership of Telstra’s copper and hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC) cables to accelerate the rollout of the national broadband network after the competition watchdog gave final approval for the companies’ $11 billion deal.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has approved Telstra’s revised migration plan, which sets out how it will progressively migrate telephone and Internet services as the network is rolled out between now and 2020.
All the conditions precedent in the revised definitive agreements between NBN (the company) and Telstra have been satisfied or waived, NBN said on Friday.
NBN and Telstra had previously only been working together on pilot network projects across Australia.
NBN CEO, Bill Morrow, said the company’s agreement with Telstra will help it complete the build in the next five years.
“Using existing infrastructure means we can build the network sooner and at less cost to taxpayers than originally anticipated. What’s more, all the technologies being used in the NBN network can be upgraded to deliver even faster speeds and greater capacity when consumer demand calls for it,” Morrow said.
NBN said it has already made a start on the fibre-to-the-node component of the network with work underway for the first 400,000 premises. The first of these will start coming online this year with HFC on track for a commercial launch in 2016.
The revisions to the Telstra Migration Plan reflected the revised commercial arrangements between Telstra, NBN, and the government and the move to a multi-technology mix, the ACCC said. The plan also modifies some of the migration and disconnection arrangements that are intended to promote service continuity, the regulator said.
ACCC's Rod Sims said the revised plan will better protect consumers from premature disconnection of their phone and internet services.
“However, consumers should act early when it is time for their region to migrate as connecting to the NBN is not automatic.
“If you want to keep your landline phone and internet services, you should place an order for an NBN service by the disconnection date for your region as your current services will eventually be permanently disconnected,” he said.
The national broadband network is now reaching more than 1 million homes and businesses across Australia. In May, NBN said customers were waiting an average of 15 days for a service to be connected.
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