NBN Co’s fibre-to-the-premise product will be ready for service in areas where internet service provider TPG is seen as posing a competitive threat from late September this year.
NBN Co expects fibre-to-the-premise for apartment and office blocks to be ready for service by September 24 in six areas in which TPG is threatening to compete against the national broadband network, according to Telstra Wholesale’s NBN Co rollout schedule, updated today and confirmed by NBN Co.
In April this year NBN Co revealed it would accelerate its rollout of fibre to apartments and office buildings in inner areas of several cities nationwide in a “commercial response” to the emerging threat posed by TPG.
The ISP last year detailed plans to cherry pick lucrative metropolitan areas for connectivity and provide fibre-to-the-basement services to an extra 500,000 apartments across metropolitan Sydney and Melbourne, by using loopholes in the anti-cherry picking legislation governing the NBN.
TPG has already started construction in a number of sites across NSW, Victoria and Brisbane, and is live trialling the service.
NBN Co identified a number of contested areas - specifically Haymarket in Sydney, South Melbourne, and New Farm and Fortitude Valley in Queensland - at the time and said it would make FTTP services available in those areas in the “middle of the year”.
The Telstra Wholesale NBN rollout schedule, the details for which are pulled from NBN Co data, reveals the organisation has added two more locations to the list of target areas - Millers Point in NSW and Docklands in Victoria.
The September 24 service date represents the point at which NBN Co expects the NBN to pass at least 90 percent of premises within the rollout region. Services can only be connected to the NBN after this date.
"These are buildings that will form the market trial, which is intended to test our processes, systems and capabilities for releasing and deploying single multiple-dwelling units," an NBN Co spokesperson told iTnews.
"These buildings, located in high value, high density inner city areas in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, are forecast to be ready for service in September. It took us a little longer than we’d hoped to finalise agreements with each of the relevant bodies corporate."
The rollout will only involve FTTP for the apartment and office blocks at this stage - NBN Co recently pushed back the public release of its fibre-to-the-basement product to early next year.
FTTP involves fibre optic cabling running to each apartment or business within a block, where FTTB would connect to a point (most likely the basement), after which existing copper would be used.
In a product roadmap released this month, NBN Co revealed an FTTB product would not be open to the market until the first quarter of next year, despite chief executive Bill Morrow previously signalling an October 2014 release.
NBN Co is currently trialling the service and recently extended its pilot to October. The trial began in January and involves the deployment of digital subscriber line access multiplexer (DSLAMs) in 10 multi-dwelling units with an average mix of between 80 and 100 residential and commercial premises.
FTTB services will be tested for “business readiness” from December 2014, and ISPs are expected to be onboarded from January next year.