NBN Competition Will Benefit Strata Complexes

Friday, January 30th, 2015
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Strata titled properties stand to benefit from the heightened competition brought by telecom companies like TPG to NBN Co.

Competition from the NBN’s rivals in the telecoms sector  for FTTB networks should expedite the installation of high-quality broadband connections to strata titled properties.

Plans by other major telecom players to “cherry pick” multi-dwelling units (MDUs) in higher margin markets situated throughout the ACT, NSW and Victoria have prompted the NBN to take the initiative, with plans to unroll its own fibre-to-the-basement (FTTB) network this year with greater haste.

The state-owned company hopes to take advantage of regulatory catches that temporarily thwart the expansion plans of its rivals, by installing connections to as many 6000 apartments by middle of the year.

TPG’s unveiling of ambitious rollout plans over a year ago, envisaging the installation of FTTB connections to half a million homes throughout Australia, were perceived a particularly formidable threat to the NBN.

This threat became heightened after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)  announced last September that it would not prevent TPG from connecting apartment complexes to its FTTB network in more affluent urban areas.

NBN responded to the potential depredations of TPG and other rivals by announcing late last year that it would vie for the lucrative apartment building market in high density markets, even if competitors were already a presence.

“We’re rolling out where you can identify a high concentration of MDU’s (multi-dwelling units),” said  John Simon, NBN Co.’s chief customer officer. “We would expect at some point that we would enter into an MDU that would have a competing technology set and we would continue to deploy.”

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull sought to give the NBN a further edge against TPG by introducing carrier licensing condition that gave its chief rival until just January 1 2015 to have its own FTTB product ready for release.

This brief timeframe has since compelled TPG to delay the rollout of its FTTB services, giving NBN Co the opportunity to make some head ground with its FTTB network.

Members of the telecoms sectors, including Vocus Communications and Telstra, have complained that the the carrier licensing condition is a ploy by government to curb their own expansion to the NBN’s benefit.

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