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Friday, 08 April 2011 10:59

NBN Co announces big 12 retail service providers - TPG missing


NBN Co has announced the first tier of 12 retail service providers for the National Broadband Network. Although most of the big names are present, Australia's fourth largest provider TPG is a notable exception, while number three ISP Optus is missing from the list of first four RSPs to be declared NBN-ready.

The announcement comes after a rough week of controversy in which NBN Co cancelled its building tender and suffered resignations of key staff, include the head of its building program Patrick Flannigan.

According to NBN Co, the four RSPs that have already completed the "the on-boarding process and are NBN-ready" include: Telstra, iiNet, Internode and iPrimus. Top three ISP Optus is a surprising omission the early starters, while TPG which has more than 500,000 ADSL2+ customers has apparently not signed up to take part.

The 12 RSPs that have signed on to take part in the trial in alphabetical order are:

ï‚· AAPT
ï‚· AARNet
ï‚· Comscentre
ï‚· Exetel
ï‚· iiNet
ï‚· Internode
ï‚· iPrimus
ï‚· Nextgen Networks
ï‚· Optus
ï‚· Platform Networks
ï‚· SkyMesh
ï‚· Telstra

According to NBN Co, it is on track for the September commencement of commercial super-fast broadband services for end-user trials across the five first release sites on the Australian mainland..

'As a wholesale provider of broadband services, NBN Co is building the infrastructure to enable retail service providers to offer services to home and business customers,' NBN Co Head of Product Development and Sales, Jim Hassell said.

'I am therefore pleased to announce that twelve retail service providers have so far committed to offer services over the NBN. These RSPs comprise small and large-scale service providers and represent over 95 percent of the market in the first release sites.

'We are very pleased with the response of RSPs to the NBN opportunity and thank them for their enthusiasm and contribution to the development of the technology.'

The four RSPs declared to be NBN-ready are expected to be the first to connect customers to the NBN on mainland Australia when they begin connecting customers as part of the end-user trial to begin in Armidale in the near future, according to the NBN

Armidale is one of five first release sites on the Australian mainland, and the first site to commence testing of the new network.

'This is great news for residents in Armidale and will mean that a limited number of Armidale residents will be the first on mainland Australia to access services over the NBN on a trial basis,' Mr Hassell said.

'The trial will extend to the other first release sites in the months following to eventually cover several hundred end-users. This testing phase is a critical step in building the network, working with RSPs and integrating our operating systems as we aim to provide the best possible service when commercial services commence.'

The four initial RSPs working with NBN Co in the test site phase will be running preliminary tests over the network and selecting a limited number of their existing end-users to take part in the trial.

The remaining eight RSPs that have signed with NBN Co to offer services over the network: AAPT, AARNnet, Comscentre, Exetel, Nextgen Networks, Optus, Platform Networks, and SkyMesh, will now begin the on-boarding process in preparation for participation in the first release site end-user trials.

The NBN Co on-boarding program is a process by which NBN Co works with RSPs to prepare them for accessing the network effectively and efficiently.

'As the NBN is an open-access wholesale network we will provide access to the network, and its connected customers, to any qualified retail service provider. We look forward to welcoming other RSPs as agreements are put in place,' Mr Hassell said.

'We also thank the residents in the five first release sites for their cooperation and patience during the construction of the network. For residents in these sites not taking part in the trial, rest assured, broadband services are expected to be delivered in increasing volumes through your retail service provider after September this year.

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