It points out that, in addition to impacting NBN Co's business case these delays will play into the hands of Telstra and the Coalition> Were the Coalition to win the next federal election it would come to power with Telstra's copper network still intact and could then negotiate with Telstra to use it for fibre to the node, which it has always favoured over FTTH.
NBN Co's stated timetable is that "The [Telstra copper] disconnection date for a rollout region occurs approximately 18 months after the ready-for-service date for that rollout region." Rollout regions are defined by NBN Co but generally comprise around 3200 premises.
However, according to Telsyte consulting director, Chris Coughlan, there is another prerequisite for initiating this 18 month countdown, which is that the PSTN equivalent service (to be provided by Telstra and administered by TUSMA under the new universal service obligation regime) must be fit for purpose. "The PSTN replacement product has to be at a certain level of reliability and the provisioning systems etc need to be sufficiently robust," he told ExchangeDaily.
And he said the 18 month countdown had not yet started in any region. " I asked NBN Co and the answer was, no, the 18 month window has not started anywhere.
"I don't anticipate that the 18 month clock will have started in any area before the next federal election. And that has a big impact on NBN's business plan because there is not way they are going to get 70 plus percent conversion ratio without the threat of disconnection of copper."
And he pointed out that an intact copper network still serving the majority of customers would play right into the hands of an incoming Coalition Government, and into Telstra's. "If the Coalition gets to power I think they will just put the brakes on NBN Co while they examine it."
You can read more stories on telecommunications in our newsletter ExchangeDaily, click here to sign up for a free trial...
Image courtesy of Bigstockphoto