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Telstra, NBN Co and developers get slice of fibre pie

Telstra, NBN Co and developers get slice of fibre pie

Conroy makes changes to fibre provisioning plan

The provision of National Broadband Network (NBN) fibre in new developments has received a rejig by Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, with NBN Co, Telstra and property developers emerging the winners.

In December 2010, the Gillard Government announced the implementation details for the provision of fibre in new developments. Under that arrangement, , infill developments where the company already had NBN fibre in service and newly approved infill developments of 100 or more premises. This originally meant NBN Co would install fibre in all new developments from 1 January 2011.

However, Conroy said in a statement that those arrangements had now been refined to give developers and other stakeholders "greater certainty". Under the changed arrangements, NBN Co was responsible as fibre provider of last resort for developments of 100 or more units that received planning approval after 1 January 2011.

Telecommunications provider Telstra was responsible as provider of last resort for developments of less than 100 units approved after 1 January 2011, pending NBN Co rolling out fibre, and as a provider of last resort for developments approved before 1 January 2011 and still awaiting infrastructure.

"Developers can still use any provider they wish to provide their communications infrastructure," Conroy said. "These arrangements relate to the provider of last resort."

Telstra would generally provide copper infrastructure, pending the roll out of fibre by NBN Co. It may also provide high-quality wireless services as an interim solution.

Property developers would still be responsible for installing pit and pipe infrastructure. According to Conroy, before NBN Co will reticulate such infrastructure with fibre developers will need to transfer ownership of the pit and pipe to NBN Co as part of an agreement to provide fibre in the new estate.

In developments of less than 100 premises, where developers have an agreement with Telstra to provide telecommunications infrastructure, developers would also need to transfer ownership of pit and pipe to the telecommunications company as a commercial condition of Telstra serving the development.

"The government is committed to ensuring people in new developments have ready access to quality communications and that means optical fibre technology to the greatest extent possible. These arrangements are helping achieve this goal," said Senator Conroy.

The changed implementation details may be added to the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Fibre Deployment) Bill 2011 (PDF) currently before federal parliament.

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