Telstra switches on Brisbane fibre


The nation’s largest telco Telstra yesterday began switching on the new fibre broadband services it has recently installed in the South Brisbane exchange area, as it continues its project to replace a small portion of its copper network.

Telstra has chosen to replace the copper connections to about 18,000 premises in the region as its South Brisbane telephone exchange — where the copper cables terminate — is being closed in order to make way for the new Queensland Children’s Hospital in the area. The region is one of the first in Australia to receive fibre services to the home — but is not part of the Federal Governent’s flagship National Broadband Network project.

“After much planning, designing, consultation and construction the first connections to the new fibre optic network in the South Brisbane exchange area begins today,” the company’s executive director of integrated network planned David Piltz wrote on Telstra’s Exchange blog yesterday.

The “phased approach” to rolling out the network would take place over the next 18 months, the executive added, with residents and businesses to be progressively migrated onto the new network over that period. “As construction is completed and areas are ready to be moved on to the new fibre network, residents and businesses will be contacted by their service provider to arrange their installation.”

The complete migration is expected to be finished by December 2012 — at which point Telstra’s exchange building will be removed and the site will be handed to the Queensland Government.

Telstra is offering residents and businesses in the area an upgrade process which is believed to be fairly similar to what will be achieved under the wider NBN rollout. For starters, customers’ premises will be connected to the fibre network via a ‘lead-in’ cable.

Secondly, a technician will install an Optical Termination Unit inside customers’ premises, so that they can connect their telephones and broadband services up. In addition, Telstra is offering customers a no-cost battery backup power supply unit, which will keep services running for a number of hours in the event of a power outage.

Broadband speeds on the network will be up to 100Mbps, and Telstra expects pricing over the network to be similar to that seen with existing plans — although this may vary depending on what retail internet service provider is actually providing services on top of Telstra’s network.

The news comes as construction on the NBN fibre is also expected to ramp up fairly shortly in some states, following the signing of an agreement yesterday between NBN Co and construction firm Silcar. The deal covers NSW, Queensland and the ACT, with NBN Co currently negotiating with other companies to cover the other states.

Image credit: Jamie Woods, royalty free


      • There is about 180,000 homes from 18 providers using FTTH in Australia before any of the NBN was rolled out, makes you wonder why the NBN Co needs pilot areas for, perhaps no one told them it has been done before.

        But keeping the pilot phase going forever is good strategy to give it away when you are struggling to get anyone interested, but it doesn’t seem to be working to well, perhaps they need to chuck in a dozen beers with every sign-up to a NBN Plan

          • Wow! too much detail in there Matthew, could you break it down a bit, the research contained in that response is overwhelming.

          • Yes Matthew…

            Obviously you adding the word “meet”, between the standard reply alain has become accustomed to, has the poor chap utterly confused and bewildered (he even openly admits it)…

            Please be more thoughtful to those completely sans comprehension, in future posts, thanks ;-)

        • Alain,

          The service is based on Trials undertaken in Point Cook, VIC over a year ago.
          Surely you can understand that it is more than the access technology involved in a project like this.
          It involves integrating it into BSS/OSS backend systems which can not be done overnight as you expect

  1. 100 meg in the downstream, but the upstream speed options have been hobbled well below what the gear is capable of.

    Also for the wholesale ULL customers while Telstra are offering ADSL style speed ratios to them, there is nothing with upstream speeds greater than 5 mbit. Which is not acceptable for anyone currently on a 10/20/40 meg symmetric Ethernet over Copper service.

  2. It’s Telstra of course upload is going to be hobbled, meh I expect this to be absorbed into the NBN eventually anyway.

    “Telstra has chosen to replace the copper connections to about 18,000 premises in the region”

    Wait, what? Is this statement accurate? Am I to understand Telstra is replacing COPPER with FIBRE??? How can they do this? What about giving people a choice! It should be opt-in. You dont trash a fully functioning copper network when it works just fine! You can get very fast broadband on copper! WONT SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE COPPER?!?!?! What a waste! They could have done FTTN for much cheaper. etc.

    Seriously though why is it OK for Telstra to replace the copper and not NBNco?

    I look forward to the predictable replies.

    • LOL HC…

      Apparently also, this is part of the NBN pachydermata family native to Qld… known as the “White Brissy Elephant…”! Alan Jones said… so it must be right!

      But seriously, the interesting parts for me – if I read this correctly are, Telstra are replacing just 1 exchange (albeit in a major city) and although they have already replaced some copper with fibre and even started to switch it on, it will still take them a further 18 months!

      Telstra have also said the end cost to customers will be about the same as the old, slow unreliable copper, “RSP dependent”! In other words, unless RSP’s try to take advantage and gouge customers (perhaps they can blame, umm, say CVC)!

      Also I wonder, as areas were completed, if Telstra staged the switch on? Maybe they started with just a small number of customers (let’s pluck a figure from thin air – say, umm 7) rather than waiting until everyone in South Brissy was connected? That would certainly make sense…!


  3. Pity Gillard and Conroy were not there at the opening, they could have even used their personal NBN hard hats and safety vests with a ‘Telstra’ sticker placed over the NBN name.

    The stark difference with the Telstra opening of of course the sucker taxpayer didn’t have to bankroll the rollout, and it did not have to run in a ‘pilot mode forever’ like the biggest FTTH pilot in the world with giveaway plans, Australia’s NBN.

  4. alain, surely not even you are that biased to not understand, that’s politicians… they are ALL attentions seekers!

    Yes Gillard and Conroy were in Armidale for the NBN, just like Howard and Coonan were all smiling (and kissing the nearest baby) at the OPEL announcement remember? THEY ARE ALL GRUBBY POLITICIANS… ! None is better than the other, in fact they are basically the same animal, simply offering different ideologies!

    Also you can keep (like all the other TLS stakeholders over at ZD) talking about the “poor taxpayer”, totally ignoring all common sense about ROI, repayment, benefits (both directly and indirectly) and of course the fact the NBN is an infrastructure build not an investment…! But keep banging the FUD drum, because every time you do, there’s an accompanying explanation supplied by someone, for those who don’t know, to learn, that the NBN will pay it self off and in time not cost anything. It will be a valuable asset both in terms of Australia’s comms and an asset which can be sold and handsomely profited from… certainly NOT an impost…quite the opposite actually! Imo, the only people who don’t want to see the NBN’s benefits are “some” Telstra stakeholders, those in opposition to the NBN in a business sense (think Bev) and the opposition (and their members/sheep)…

    Anyway back to the topic – from my perspective, this is simply a strategic move on Telstra’s part. If they renewed the copper, depending upon the NBN ETA, it would probably pay for itself, but they’d then have another obsolete copper exchange/connections to be decommissioned. Whereas upgrading with fibre (yes they said they’d hand it to the Qld government but…) they will have an asset they can possibly resell to NBNCo!

  5. No comment about how Telstra has been providing very little information to wholesale customers & that services are being stranded? Business services as mentioned above & Fetch TV will no longer function.

    Pricing might be similar to existing services from Telstra but wholesale is way higher then competitors wholesale offerings, so other ISPs are getting screwed.

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