NBN has lost its case against TPG and Pipe Networks in the NSW Supreme Court.
The Court has ruled in favour of TPG Telecom group company, PIPE Networks Pty Ltd, in the case brought by NBN alleging misleading and deceptive conduct.
NBN brought the proceedings against Pipe Networks in October 2014 in connection with TPG’s Fibre to the Building network.
Pipe Networks has been rolling out its fibre network to multi-dwelling units relying on powers given to carriers under the Telecommunications Act.
NBN Co (as it then was called) asserted that the powers did not extend to entitling PIPE to plug its equipment into an existing power socket (on the common property of the building) and to draw electricity.
It claimed that PIPE was misleading strata managers and building owners by asserting that the Telecommunications Act did grant Pipe those powers.
Justice Francois Kunc of the Supreme Court found that Pipe was entitled by the Telecommunications Act to install its equipment in the buildings, to plug the equipment into the common property of the building and to draw electricity.
A spokesman for NBN told ARN the company took action against Pipe Networks because the Telecommunications Act was ambiguous.
"We wanted the law clarified and we are very pleased to get clarification," he said.
"That clarification is that the Telecommunications Act empowers carriers to plug their equipment into a power source on the property of a land owner without consent and draw power to operate that equipment.
"While we are still considering the impacts of the judgement, our initial view is that this decision will help the rollout of the nbn network over the coming years."
TPG general counsel, Tony Moffatt, said: “We are very pleased to have been successful in these proceedings.”
“Carrier rights have been in place since competition was introduced to the telecommunications market and were designed to place all competitive carriers in an equal position.
"This judgement is important for the industry and confirms that TPG, NBN and all other carriers have an equal entitlement to install and operate equipment in buildings, including by using electricity.”
Pipe Networks head of fibre operations, Reggie Naik, said it was is an excellent win for consumers of telecommunications services in Australia, whether they be residential or business customers.
"Our fibre optic network and FTTB products will bring great benefits to consumers and we are proceeding with our rollout as quickly as we can. We hope that this case will quell the effects of the misinformation that has been given to strata managers about PIPE’s FTTB installations”.