Telstra tries to smooth migration to NBN FTTC

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Telstra tries to smooth migration to NBN FTTC

Suggests changes to regulated rules.

Telstra is hoping to clarify the way it will disconnect and migrate customers over to NBN Co’s fibre-to-the-curb (FTTC) network.

The telco's executive director of regulatory affairs Jane van Beelen wrote to the ACCC in early October seeking changes to the migration plan that it has agreed to with the competition watchdog.

The migration plan “sets out the steps that Telstra will take to progressively migrate voice and broadband services from its copper and HFC networks to the NBN”, the ACCC said.

Telstra said in a letter that “NBN Co approves of the proposed variations” - which could smooth the path to them being adopted.

However, the ACCC is required to consult industry on the proposal. That process will close in the first week of 2018.

“Telstra has advised that it will work collaboratively with NBN Co and other stakeholders in
the event any concerns arise regarding the proposed disconnection arrangements for FTTC
connected premises,” the regulator said.

The main change that Telstra is seeking is to “provide clarity for industry regarding the processes that will be used for disconnecting [existing] copper services at FTTC-connected premises”, the ACCC noted.

“The introduction of fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) and fibre-to-the-basement (FTTB) access
technologies as part of the multi-technology mix NBN rollout required variations to the migration plan to reflect the requirement for the re-use of Telstra’s copper infrastructure to deliver NBN services,” the regulator said.

“Telstra considers that the migration plan needs to be further amended to reflect that NBN’s
use of Telstra’s existing copper network infrastructure for the purpose of supplying a new
NBN service over FTTC.”

Another change being sought by Telstra is around how multi-dwelling units (MDUs) are defined for disconnection purposes.

The telco said there was an issue where the location of the legacy copper infrastructure for an MDU may be in “sub-locations” on a site - such as a utilities room - that isn’t technically covered by the existing disconnection rules. It has sought a re-alignment through an amended definition.

The ACCC said it had sought - and received - assurance from Telstra that the proposed changes would not cause grief for end users, such as by erroneous disconnections of existing ADSL services before the FTTC was ready, leaving them without fixed-line services.

Telstra has previously been successful in amending the migration plan to cater to the introduction of new access technologies by NBN Co.

The FTTC network is expected to be switched on and servicing customers by mid-2018.

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