Telco giant, Telstra (ASX:TLS), is reselling Internet services on the back of the National Broadband Network as a trial in Tasmania. This is the first time the company has ever sold Internet services using infrastructure that didn’t belong to it.
According to Telstra spokesperson, Jon Court, around 100 customers that represent a cross-section of the company’s users will be picked out and asked to voluntarily move onto the NBN. Customers will be able to say no.
Court said negotiations for this trial took less than six months, during which time both parties assessed its feasibility. An agreement was signed recently and services will run from early October until the end of 2010.
“There’ll be similar arrangements [with Telstra’s services] to what the other retails service providers are doing with NBN,” he said. “We’ll go through how [customers] currently use their service…so we can assess it against what they do in the trial.
“We need to make sure our back-end systems work with NBN before we make any decision as to whether we’ll give a commercial offering.”
The services will be offered at the Tasmanian NBN sites of Midway Point, Scottsdale and Smithton. Telstra CEO, David Thodey, said it was a chance to test his company’s products for compatibility on the NBN.
Telstra is also building one of NBN Co’s second release sites in Brunswick, Victoria, using existing ducts and infrastructure.
Court said the new deal had nothing to do with Telstra's signing on a financial heads of agreement with the Federal Government.
The trial with Telstra means five RSPs are now providing services to customers on the NBN. These include iiNet, Primus, Internode and Exetel.
"The growth in competition on the network should also prove beneficial for end-users in terms on innovation, service differentiation and price," NBN Co executive chairman, Doug Campbell, said in a statement.