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Stop Gap NBN: Telstra’s High Speed Broadband Hits April

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So, is this some sneaky plan to defy the National Broadband Network?

No, its all above board and is part of the “level playing field” premise of the ‘NBN Access Act’ 2011, Minister for Broadband, Senator Stephen Conroy, said today.

Telstra’s new high speed fibre broadband wholesale service will run on fibre networks it currently deploys in South Brisbane and new real estate projects and will kick start competition between service providers, says Conroy.

The telco’s South Brisbane Exchange Service Area and other specified Velocity networks are among those which will offer the new fibre service.

The ‘Fibre Access Broadband Service’ will be open access and is to kick off in in April.

The service will also “support competition between service providers on these networks and offer greater choice for end-users,” Conroy added.

The service is “transitional, pending the rollout of the National Broadband Network and Telstra’s long term structural separation,” Conroy added.

The $36bn NBN is expected to be rolled out in full by 2020 and said in early January it had just 4000 customers, meaning it has some way to go before it connects 93% of the Aussie population as intended.

Telstra is awaiting the approval of the break up arrangement of its retail and financial arms, known as SSU, which is is to be aproved by the ACCC in the coming month.

The new service rivalling NBN Co’s fibre rollout, currently underway, will be subject to regulation by the consumer watchdog, the ACCC.

Provision of the fibre service was a condition of some networks being exempted from certain regulatory arrangements under Parts 7 and 8 of the Telecommunications Act 1997, which Telstra had already been contracted to build before these legislative parts were enacted.