Telstra will await the outcome of its Point Cook fibre trial and ongoing regulatory and commercial discussions with the Government before deciding whether to extend the open-access wholesale arrangements in the Melbourne suburb across the rest of its Velocity fibre network.The Velocity network, which has been rolled out in greenfields estates called 'Telstra smart communities', is currently closed to retail service providers.
Open access arrangements in Point Cook appeared proof that, at some level, Telstra's systems could support the wider application of such arrangements to the Velocity fibre infrastructure should the telco wish to go down that path.
"We're making fibre infrastructure [in Point Cook] available on an open access basis to our wholesale customers," Telstra Wholesale group managing director Paul Geason said.
"We're hoping our wholesale customers will be able to move reasonably quickly [to sign residents up to services]."Executive director of next-generation services at Telstra Wholesale, Trevor Brunton, told iTnews that Telstra had tried to make the [wholesale product in Point Cook] look as much like existing wholesale broadband products as possible."ISPs don't need to change their systems in any material sense," Brunton said."Our billing [systems] will be the same. It's as close as we can make it to the [wholesale] DSL product."
Brunton told iTnews that Telstra would make any future open access plans for Velocity "based on how the regulatory framework looks and also on a commercial analysis of the environment.""We're waiting for clarity around the regulatory environment," he said, referring to the outcome of greenfields legislation before parliament and standards development by several industry bodies."We don't have a firm plan to deliver [open access wholesale services] beyond Point Cook at the moment."
Open for businessTelstra's six-month open access fibre trial in Point Cook officially opened for business yesterday after a series of "pre-trials". ISP Dodo and sub-wholesaler ispONE were the latest to join the trial as service providers.iTnews reported last week that ISPs Internode and Exetel were the first to strike deals to become retail service providers on the network, which is available to some 1,500 residents."Negotiations with several other service providers are also underway," Telstra said in a statement today.Exetel told iTnews it expected to start marketing this week. Internode was also finalising its plan offers and pricing when contacted by iTnews.Telstra held a launch party at its T-Life retail store in Point Cook this past Saturday to showcase its own retail broadband offers on the network.The wholesale product to ISPs was being sold in three flavours - an ADSL1-equivalent 8 Mbps, an above-ADSL2 30 Mbps and a full 100 Mbps offering.Geason told iTnews that Telstra hadn't yet formed a view on the customer demand levels expected for the different speed offers.
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