NBN Co to investigate using others' fibre capacities

nbn co ltd

By Jonathan Nally
Tuesday, 28 January, 2020

NBN Co to investigate using others' fibre capacities

NBN Co has released a consultation paper that it says aims to “explore possible approaches for the procurement of additional dark fibre services from network carriers in customer locations already served by existing fibre”.

In a statement, the company said that it is “proposing to augment” its FTTP network by “drawing greater utility from the spare capacity in Australia’s existing stock of dark fibre infrastructure”, specifically for the enterprise and government Ethernet markets.

“To date, whilst we have usually installed new fibre connections to large customer locations when requested, we have made some limited use of existing fibre when we have done so,” said Will Irving, Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer.

“However, because other network operators may have spare capacity on infrastructure serving some of these locations it may be unnecessary for NBN Co to duplicate the fibre infrastructure serving those premises.

The company has outlined two potential ways forward.

The first option would expand NBN Co’s current RFP process to seek one or more “pre-qualified nbn-approved suppliers to provide a proposal to supply dark fibre connectivity services at specific locations to support the delivery of either nbn’s TC2 or Enterprise Ethernet service”.

The other option would be to periodically hold an industry-wide reverse auction, enabling fibre network providers to make confidential bids for the supply of dark fibre connectivity.

The company says the objective is to lower “the expected economic costs and/or time to delivery compared to NBN Co deploying its own infrastructure (including applying a commercial cost of capital no less than the rate agreed with the ACCC in its Special Access Undertaking)”.

Image courtesy NBN Co.

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