The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has endorsed the revised deal between Telstra and nbn which will see Telstra’s HFC network and those sections of its copper network that lie beyond the “node” acquired by nbn. (Lead in conduit was acquired by nbn in the original agreement.)
The decision formally clears the way for the roll-out of the Fibre-to-the-Node and upgraded HFC elements of the Coalition’s mixed technology version of the NBN.
nbn has already started work on 400,000 FTTN premises, the first of which will be active this year. HFC is expected to be commercially launched in 2016.
While giving the go ahead to the transfer of Telstra’s assets, the ACCC has yet to approve the sale of the Optus HFC network to nbn, saying the competition questions involved are different.
The sale of the Optus HFC assets may be a difficult pill for the ACCC to swallow, committed as it has been in the past to infrastructure-based telco competition.
But it found its way around similar difficulties with the previous version of this deal, which saw Optus’ HFC broadband customers, as opposed to its HFC assets, transferred to nbn. With government policy behind it, it is likely to do so again.