NBN Co, the company overseeing Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) project, and fixed line incumbent Telstra have reportedly delayed the disconnection of copper services in 58 areas where fibre-based connectivity has been rolled out. According to iTnews, while the duo had originally intended to pull the plug on copper-based services in these 58 fibre servicing area modules (FSAMs) during the Christmas and New Year period, they have delayed such plans in order to ensure that affected users are notified of the forthcoming disconnection. Commenting on the development, an unnamed NBN Co spokesperson was cited as saying that the timeframe had been shifted ‘so everyone can enjoy their summer holiday period’.
It is understood that an e-mail sent by Telstra to wholesale customers confirmed that it had agreed with NBN Co to delay the disconnection dates for FSAMs scheduled for December 2014 and January/February 2015. Further, the two companies are said to have also made the decision to organise the disconnection dates into three groups falling once a month, with a view to ‘[reducing] the number of dates and simplify[ing] the approach’ for industry and end users. As such, the 58 FSAMs will now either be disconnected on 20 February 2015, 20 March 2015 or 17 April 2015.
As previously reported by CommUpdate, May 2014 saw NBN Co begin switching off copper-based telecommunications services, with around 19,000 families and businesses in 15 communities across Australia the first to lose access to such infrastructure in: Armidale, Minnamurra and Kiama Downs in New South Wales; South Morang and Brunswick in Victoria; Townsville, Aitkenvale and Mundingburra in Queensland; Willunga in South Australia; and Deloraine, George Town, Kingston Beach, Sorell, St Helens and Triabunna in Tasmania.