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Telstra’s NBN Day Of Reckoning Dawns Sign Off Today

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The heavily detailed agreementĀ  – many months in the making – is said to come to more than 1700 pages, and provides for payment of $11 billion to Telstra over the coming years in return for its structural separation, the transfer of its fixed-line customers to NBN Co and the leasing of its pits and cuts to NBN Co to allow an easier fibre rollout.

Once Cabinet has signed off and Telstra has reviewed any last-minute changes, an official announcement is expected either tomorrow or Friday.

But it won’t be the only deal to be announced. Optus, meanwhile, is also expected to formally announce that it has agreed to a deal potentially worth something between $500 million and $1 billion, to close its hybrid fibre-coax (HFC) network, and transfer those customers to the NBN.

Telstra is also closing its HFC network for broadband use – though the cable will presumably stay in place for use by Foxtel.

The Telstra-NBN Co deal is also understood to lock Telstra into using the NBN for the next 20 years as its major conduit to retail customers.

Meanwhile, newsletter Communications Day reports that – deal or no deal – Telstra is planning a major upgrade to its copper infrastructure ahead of the NBN rollout.

Dubbed Project Delta, the proposal would involve a major “modernisation” of the copper infrastructure and includes software upgrades, a move to higher density line cards and an innovative expansion of its street cabinets – in a separate initiative known as “project top-hat” – to allow for more services and customers.

CommsDay said it had been told that Telstra is preparing itself for possible further delays in the NBN rollout. The upgrade is also seen as necessary for Telstra’s expansion of its Foxtel on T-Box service.