Broadband equipment rollout gets a step closer
About 8500 TransACT customers in Canberra will be issued with new equipment in coming months to prepare for the National Broadband Network, following the sale of its fibre-to-the-premises network.
Provider iiNet, which bought TransACT from the ACT government in 2011, has sold the FTTP network for $9 million.
The switch is expected to take about nine months, once approved by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
TransACT chief executive Ivan Slavich said there would be minimal disruption to services, even though the fibre itself would not be changed.
He could not specify how long disruptions would be.
Homes connected to the FTTP network would swap their termination equipment with NBN termination devices to receive the NBN service through a wider choice of internet service providers.
The changeover would happen in separate residential estates in Gungahlin where the bulk of TransACT's original rollout took place. The network also covers an additional 4500 premises either planned or under construction.
''We will be in contact with our customers to work through this process. It will take around nine months or so from the contract's completion,'' Mr Slavich said.
Customers will use existing modems, but those taking the TransAct's television service will be offered a new one. ''We sell Fetch TV services as part of the iiNet group, so we are working on rolling out Fetch TV to these customers,'' he said. Once the changeover is completed customers will have a choice of either TransACT/iiNet's ISP or a wider range of other ISP services.
Customers on long-term contract will have to wait for them to expire.
''There's a whole heap of different contracts that we offer, obviously the one to provide the service, but there are customers that are in a ''bundled contract'' between TransACT and ActewAGL bundling their energy and telco.''
Mr Slavich would not say what the network was worth before iiNet bought TransACT and revalued its assets in 2011.
Gungahlin Community Council president Ewan Brown said previously some new areas of Gungahlin weren't going to be covered by the NBN because they were covered by TransACT services.
''Now it means every thing is thrown into the same melting pot and people will be able to connect via either the TransACT fibre or the NBN fibre.''
Mr Brown said the NBN rollout was still slow, although he was encouraged to hear Ngunnawal would be ready from June 1.
''People aren't getting enough information where to locate the entry point to their home, what sort of extra equipment they need, whether they need a wireless router, how to cable up all their various devices.
''The terminology says fibre-to-the-home. But a lot of sub-contractors are saying 'we're only putting it on garages', even detached garages, which means the home owner has to find some way of getting the signals to all equipment in the house.''