"Provision of the wholesale service will support competition between service providers on these networks and offer greater choice for end-users," said Senator Conroy.
Telstra's scrapping of its copper network connected to the South Brisbane exchange and decommissioning the exchange to make way for the new Queensland Children's Hospital. Replacement of the copper access network with fibre has long been a sore point with wholesale customers of the copper network. They have no option but to migrate services from the copper to the fibre, but have claimed that Telstra has not offered an equivalent service.
Last September, iiNet director regulator, Steve Dalby announced on the Whirlpool Forum that iiNet had signed an agreement with Telstra to use its fibre network in South Brisbane but said: "The agreement is unsatisfactory and is signed with the knowledge that we have no choice, given Telstra's massive power and the option of 'sign before we cut your customers off'."
Although the minister has just announced availability of the Fibre Access Broadband Service, Telstra Wholesale announced the service in the March 2011 edition of its customer newsletter, saying: "The launch of FAB will support the migration of services currently delivered over copper in the South Brisbane exchange area to FTTP, with a staged migration commencing in August 2011."
iTWire has sought comment from Telstra on how this announcement relates to today's announcement by the minister, but we had received none at press time.