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Editions

Fibre ‘coup’ for Dock 5

02 Oct 2014

Fibre ‘coup’ for Dock 5 Image

Docklands’ own Dock 5 is one of a dozen buildings in Australia which has been retrofitted with NBN Co optical fibre to the apartment.

While new buildings in Docklands are being fitted to the same standard, typically retro-fitted fibre stops at the communication rooms of apartment blocks.

NBN Co is being coy about its motivation for selecting Dock 5 for what it is called a “trial” but it followed closely on the heels of news about rival TPG demanding access to Dock 5 to install its own connection.

At a meeting with residents on September 17, NBN Co representative Corrie Withers likened the installation to winning Melbourne Cricket Club membership.

“You are very lucky,” Mr Withers told residents.

He said that residents would have a choice of potentially 80 approved retail providers to manage the connection.  He said NBN Co was a wholesaler only.

“We build the road, you choose the car,” he said to explain the relationship.

NewQuay-based telco Harbour ISP provided food and beverage for the information evening.

Dock 5 building manager Bill Castles spoke glowingly of the local service provider.

He described the NBN Co installation as a “coup” for the building, particularly as the fibre extends throughout the building to the front door of every apartment.

Mr Castles also acknowledged the work of Tom Burt who worked tirelessly with NBN Co on behalf of the owners’ corporation.

Dock 5 is one of only four buildings in Victoria and 12 throughout the nation to receive the fibre to the apartment roll out.  The other three Victorian buildings are believed to be in South Melbourne.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) last month ruled that TPG was entitled to compete with NBN Co in the race to connect “fibre to the basement” within the lucrative apartment tower market.

TPG is technically able to compete with NBN Co because its fibre network was already in the ground before 2011.

In the press release on September 11, the ACCC said: “The ‘NBN level playing field provisions’ prohibit the use of networks other than the NBN to supply high speed broadband services to small business or residential customers, unless the network operator supplies on a wholesale basis only and is subject to open access obligations.”

“However, networks that were capable of being used to supply high speed broadband services to small business or residential customers as at 1 January 2011 are not caught by the level playing field provisions, provided they are not extended more than a kilometre from the network footprint as it was at 1 January 2011.”

“Having carefully examined TPG’s plans, the ACCC does not propose to take further action in relation to TPG’s planned fibre to the basement network rollout to supply residential customers in high-rise buildings in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

“The ACCC has reached this decision based on information and evidence that TPG’s networks were capable of supplying superfast carriage services to small business or residential customers at 1 January 2011, and confirmation that TPG is not extending the footprint of these networks by more than one kilometre.”

“The ACCC will now conduct a declaration inquiry into whether a superfast broadband access service like the type to be provided by TPG over its fibre-to-the-basement networks should be the subject of access regulation. Amongst other matters, the inquiry will consider whether regulation is necessary to ensure that consumers in TPG connected buildings can benefit from competitive retail markets for high speed broadband services,” Mr Sims said.

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