Telstra and nbn have signed a contract to build out and speed up the telco’s existing hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) cable internet network, bringing it up to current standards to “deliver nbn™ broadband capability” to customers that will be moved onto it as part of the current government’s multi-technology mix National Broadband Network. The deal is worth a massive $1.6 billion for Telstra, and will run until the NBN build is complete in 2020.
In the deal, announced to the ASX this morning, Telstra will be given responsibility for design and planning for the improvement of the HFC network, which won’t be expanded outside its current footprint but will be upgraded to deliver faster speeds — likely with DOCSIS 3.1 technology. Telstra has already started some of this work, with the deal earmarked late last year in a memorandum of understanding between the two companies.
Telstra already has an ongoing partnership with nbn to fix and maintain the aging copper network used for fibre-to-the-node NBN, and worked with the national broadband network company to trial a pilot of FTTN in 1000 homes. The new deal is the most significant to Telstra since the 2011 definitive agreement that gave Telstra $11 billion for its national copper telephone network, which would eventually form the backbone of the MTN NBN’s FTTN deployment.