Australian fixed line incumbent Telstra is reported to have extended the deadline for completing the deal under which it will lease its infrastructure and transfer customers to the in-deployment National Broadband Network (NBN). The Australian Financial Review reports that, having been due to expire yesterday, the agreement signed in June 2011 between Telstra and NBN Co, the public-private company set up to oversee the management and construction of the NBN, has been extended. The additional time has been given for completion of the deal as Telstra is still awaiting regulatory approval for its Structural Separation Undertaking (SSU), which forms a core part of the agreement made with NBN Co. A new deadline for the finalising of the Telstra-NBN deal has not been disclosed, but with Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) expected to reach a final decision on the SSU by February 2012, it is thought that the cut-off has been set at some point well beyond this to account for any possible future delays.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, the key components of the Telstra-NBN Co deal, which was approved by the incumbent’s shareholders in October 2011, included Telstra agreeing to disconnect, progressively, copper-based Customer Access Network services and broadband services on its HFC cable network (but not pay-TV services based on HFC) that are provided to premises in the NBN fibre footprint, and to migrate its services onto NBN-based services, over the expected ten-year build period of the NBN. Further, Telstra will provide NBN Co with large scale access to certain infrastructure – dark fibre, exchange space, lead-in-conduits and ducts – at prices based on committed large volume levels of usage and availability. The term of the infrastructure agreement will be between 35 and 40 years from commencement, plus two ten-year options to extend, exercisable by NBN Co. In order to maximise the availability of this infrastructure, Telstra will undertake necessary work on the infrastructure, and retain ownership of all infrastructure assets, except for those lead-in-conduits used by NBN Co which will become NBN Co property once used.