NBN Co will make a commercial fibre-to-the-node product available to the market in the third quarter of next year, the national network builder revealed in an updated product roadmap today.
The company will start business readiness testing for FTTN deployments in the second quarter of 2015, and will begin onboarding retail service providers (RSPs) at the same time.
It has also extended the life of its FTTN pilot - which is currently made up of a 1000-node construction trial being conducted with Telstra in NSW and Queensland, and two end-user trials in Epping, Victoria and Umina, NSW - for a further 12 months, up until the expected launch of the service at around September 30 next year.
With the agreement of Telstra, NBN Co will turn the construction trial into a ‘customer experience’ pilot by bringing users onto the service, once the build is complete.
It expects the 1000 nodes will connect a further 250,000 homes and businesses to the NBN over the coming year.
The Umina end-user pilot has seen around 40 premises connected to the NBN. The additional Epping FTTN pilot is still under construction.
NBN Co has also extended the life of its fibre-to-the-basement (FTTB) trial for a further five months to the end of March 2015, through to the commercial launch of the product.
“Our FTTB pilot in inner-city Melbourne suburbs continues and we are currently in the process of measuring and recording the customer experience of the homes and businesses which have signed-up,” NBN Co chief customer officer said John Simon said in a statement.
“We will be working with our industry partners and ISPs over the next few months to ensure the FTTB product has been tested and is ready for our scheduled commercial launch in calendar Q1 2015.”
RSPs get timeline for new product pricing
NBN Co revealed it would introduce revised product pricing for RSPs in the first quarter of next year, after recently notifying industry that it intended to cut the cost of the connectivity virtual circuit charge by 12.5 percent
The CVC charge secures a customer’s bandwidth from the point of interconnect, and is levied on top of the standard access charge NBN wholesale providers are required to pay.
It is currently set at $20 per month/Mbps - a fee retail service providers have criticised as too high.
NBN Co in July proposed immediately slimming the charge to $17.50 per month/Mbps while it continued consultation with industry on a number of pricing models, which it expected would be complete by October.
NBN Co declined to comment further on the pricing changes ahead of a decision.