I live in South Brisbane and Telstra has recently installed fibre optic.
I currently do not have a land line, and I am using Mobile Broadband with Optus. I would like to find a good deal for a home phone / internet bundle, however I called TPG (my mobile provider) and they told me they still cannot provide me one for now - they will in the future but are not sure when. I do not want to switch to Telstra as I find them very expensive. I would appreciate your help as it is all very confusing to me. Thanks, Alessia
My heart goes out to you. You're actually in one of the most closely watched areas of Australia when it comes to telecommunications. South Brisbane is something of a 'ground zero' in the ongoing debate over the viability of a National Broadband Network (NBN) or a market based, Telstra-led solution to providing better broadband options to users.
To provide as brief a back story as possible- The NBN is an all-fibre network being built by the government, to replace Telstra's own copper network, which currently provides the last bit of the network to each home and office in Australia. It's not the first plan to uniformly upgrade all of Australia's infrastructure. Telstra has previously had the opportunity to do its own similar rollout of fibre to each premises, but talks fell through.
For the last few years, Telstra has been putting in fibre for much of the network in brand new estate areas, known as 'Greenfield' installations. They were doing this because they knew at some point soon any copper would be ripped up one way or the other; why invest in laying out cables that will be soon torn out?
There are two areas where Telstra will be effectively testing out a full, fibre-to-the-premises rollouts, to both test the viability of such a rollout, and to also demonstrate their ability to do so as compared to NBNco (the company building the NBN). These 'Brownfield' areas are already built and established. The sites chosen for this test are Point Cook in Melbourne, an outer area that was a good candidate because of rapid growth; and South Brisbane, a much busier area which was chosen because a new Hospital was being built that would displace Telstra's exchange building. Rather than re-wire a bunch of copper to a new exchange building, Telstra have opted to replace the copper with full fibre optics.
AND...that's where you come in. One of the main points in replacing Telstra's copper network is to remove Telstra's 'Vertical Integration' - Telstra has both a wholesale and retail interest, so it's hard to get them to 'play nice' when it comes to giving access to the competition.
I'm trying to remain impartial here, but South Brisbane is a very good example of why it's necessary to take this control away from Telstra. Telstra is only obliged to provide access to their copper network, so it was difficult to get them to agree to let competitors like TPG to get access to the fibre in the first place. But even now, Telstra is taking its time in getting that access to the providers. They're attempting, in no uncertain terms, to get customers on to long-term contracts as quickly as possible, which will leave fewer and fewer customers left in South Brisbane to go with the competition. And for competitors like TPG, that means that every day it's more difficult to justify pushing Telstra to complete its part fo the deal, because there won't be much left to fight over when it's all said and done.
So right now, for a good fixed-line connection, you may as well bite the bullet and go with Telstra. You could also try iPrimus on 1300 137 794 to see if they're having any better luck in getting access to Telstra's fibre.
For the record - the NBN won't be coming to South Brisbane any time soon (at least 3 yrs or more away) so this is how it will be for that area, for a while. On the plus side, even Telstra's fibre plans for South Brisbane will be faster and more universally reliable than what came before.
Adam at CompareBroadband
1300 106 571