Telstra can get started migrating end customers to the National Broadband Network (NBN) via its Fibre-to-the-Curb (FttC) access technology.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said on 6 March it had approved Telstra’s proposed variation to the NBN Migration Plan to enable FttC as a new access technology for NBN connections.
The move comes after concerns were identified with the proposed connection processes put forward by the company behind the NBN rollout, NBN Co, in response to a discussion paper the ACCC released in December on Telstra’s proposed FttC variation.
According to the ACCC, Telstra’s new migration plan outlines the steps the telco will take to progressively migrate voice and broadband services from its existing copper and hybrid-fibre coaxial (HFC) networks to the NBN.
According to ACCC chairman, Rod Sims, the initial proposed connection processes could have resulted in people being left without a phone or internet service before their FttC service was in operation.
“NBN Co [has] now agreed to change connection processes and undertake data testing to ensure FTTC services are operating prior to disconnection of existing services,” Sims said.
“The ACCC welcomes these improvements, which should provide a safeguard against consumers being disconnected before they have access to a working NBN service,” he said.
The ACCC said in December last year it was seeking feedback on its discussion paper detailing Telstra’s proposed variation to the NBN Migration Plan to facilitate the rollout of FttC technology.
In 2015, the ACCC approved a revised migration plan by Telstra which detailed how the telco would progressively migrate existing customers’ telephone and internet services to multi-technology mix NBN services.
The rollout of FttC was slated to commence this year.
NBN Co said it would also notify FttC service customers that they have an 18 month window to switch their existing services to the NBN service before their phone and internet services are disconnected.
The approval of the telco's migration plan variations comes just weeks after NBN Co’s executive general manager for access products, Gavin Williams, said that the company is making the upgrades to its fixed wireless network due to an increase in demand.
“On the fixed wireless network, we have seen a significant spike in the amount of data being used in recent months, particularly in peak times,” Williams said in February. “In addition to more data being used over a longer period of time, we are seeing a notable increase of concurrent users.
“Due to this increase in demand, we will further invest in an upgrade program to expand the capacity of our wireless towers” he said.