Telstra plans to build an FTTP network to replace its copper infrastructure in the South Brisbane exchange service area, after agreeing to sell the local exchange building to the Queensland government to make way for a new children’s hospital.
The telco told wholesale customers in the area that it would decommission equipment in the exchange, locate some exchange based equipment in the nearby Woolloongabba exchange, and roll out its new FTTP network. Existing ULLS and SSS services will be progressively withdrawn from sale, but Telstra pledged that no customer services would be withdrawn before 1 March 2011, and anticipated completing the FTTP rollout by December 2012.
About 18,000 services will be affected in the South Brisbane exchange area; of that, about 8,000 are wholesale services. Some 76 wholesale customers have services there.
“It made sense to use this opportunity to give our customers access to FTTP technology, rather than reinstating the copper,” a spokesperson told CommsDay. “We intend to have a range of migration solutions available to our wholesale customers prior to decommissioning… we’re still very early in the planning processes, it’s important to stress that we don’t have all the answers today about what the product set will be. We want to be open and transparent with our wholesale customers well in advance.”
The spokesman said that the fibre rollout had nothing to do with NBN Co, but also emphasised that there were no plans to repeat the fibre replacement on a broader scale. “You’ve got to look at this in the context of what the Queensland government requested of Telstra… that they wanted to make way for the children’s hospital,” said the spokesperson. “This is a unique set of circumstances…. given that, we took advantage of the opportunity to roll out fibre rather than replace the existing copper exchange.”