Telstra Will Be NBN Core Player, Pilot FTTN: Report

Written by Oonagh Reidy     31/03/2014 | 09:45 | Category: INDUSTRY

Telstra to play big role in NBN, reports suggest

Telstra Will Be NBN Core Player, Pilot FTTN: Report

The nation's biggest telco is to commence a fibre-to-the node (FTTN) pilot on the NBN later this year, reports Fairfax Media. 

The Telstra FTTN project 'would involve more than 300 node cabinet units, each capable of connecting about 300 homes and businesses to the NBN'. It could become one of the biggest FTTN rollouts and is likely to be extended further, if successful, making Telstra a crucial player in the billion-dollar NBN project, according to the report. 

Fibre to the node is the technology favored by the Coalition government who has strongly criticised the fibre-to-the-premises technologies favoured by Labor, mainly on cost grounds. 

FTTN would use Telstra copper network, in part, to deliver the high speed broadband to NBN customers. It is no surprise Telstra, with its massive copper infrastructure is likely to become a major player in the fibre network rollout.

However, a deal between NBN Co and Telstra has not yet been finalised. 

An NBN Co. spokesperson would not make any comment on the reports, when contacted by ChannelNews.

At the moment, the big focus for NBN Co is to do a broad deal with Telstra and Optus to use their copper and HFC networks to rollout the fibre network using a wider mix of technologies, the spokesperson said.

However, there is no timeline for completion of these talks. NBN Co is already running two small scale FTTN trials in NSW and North Melbourne, using 10 nodes each. 

The focus is on delivering fibre-to-the premises services in 2014, with FTTN construction likely to kick off next year, the rep added. 

Telstra already has interests in the NBN, having negotiated an $11 billion deal to surrender its copper network, pits and ducts along with other assets to the NBN Co, although this is up for renegotiation. 

This week, NBN Co's new CEO, Bill Morrow, ex Vodafone chief is set to be sworn in. 

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