NBN release limited by Telstra deal delay

NBN release limited by Telstra deal delay

The $11 billion deal between NBN Co and Telstra needs to be finalised before the NBN goes lives on a wider scale, according to Mike Quigley

The general availability of the National Broadband Network (NBN) is being held up by NBN Co’s pending deal with Telstra, according to NBN Co chief, Mike Quigley.

The telco’s shareholders were slated to vote on the $11 billion non-binding agreement on July 1 but this was pushed back indefinitely due to ongoing negotiations between Telstra and NBN Co.

Under the deal, Telstra would progressively shut down its copper network and migrate its residential customers onto the NBN. The use of Telstra ducts and infrastructure was a part of the agreement as well.

At the first NBN Joint Committee hearing in Sydney, Quigley clarified NBN Co will need to reach a definitive agreement with Telstra before anybody will see significant volume come down the fibre network.

“Even once [we] sign the definitive agreements, there is still shareholder approval that needs to be done,” he said.

This process may take some months.

The finalisation of the deal is paramount for unlimited access to Telstra’s ducts and stipulated backhaul, a crucial part of the NBN’s rollout.

NBN Co is also waiting for the telco to perform “remediation work” in certain areas including fixing exchanges and regrooming traffic so the company can access dark fibre.

“[All this is] certainly a constraint on what we can do,” Quigley said. “…But we are trying to make as much progress as possible to be in a good position when things are up so we can get on with [the NBN rollout] very quickly.”

The NBN Co chief reiterated the company is coming close to the final stages of negotiations with Telstra but could not give a deadline as to when the deal would be sealed.

Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, had said the Telstra-NBN Co deal would shave $6 billion off the original $42 billion pricetag on the NBN.

Last year, NBN Co flagged the completion date of the NBN may be pushed back from 2018 to 2020.

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Tags broadbandTelstranbn coTelecommunicationsSenator Stephen ConroybackhaulNational Broadband Network (NBN)Communications MinisterNBN Joint Committee

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