Telstra today announced a trial service in Point Cook, Victoria, of fibre to the premises (FTTP) technology, and has invited NBN Co to act as an observer on the project.
The trial is set to be completed by May 2010. FTTP technology will be used by Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN). Instead of employing existing copper cables to deliver broadband to the home, it utilises a fibre optic cable connected directly to the premises from the exchange.
The upgrade will mean around 1500 residential customers in Point Cook will be among the first to have the opportunity to trial the new technology.
"Demand for broadband in areas of Point Cook is very high. In improving the capacity of broadband in these areas we had a choice of upgrading the copper infrastructure, which might shortly be overbuilt by the NBN, or using fibre," said Executive Director of Telstra Network and Technology, Michael Lawrey.
"Rolling out fibre is in line with the Government's vision to get fibre to as many Australian homes as quickly as possible and could provide valuable lessons for the NBN."
The trial is one of the first in Australia and Telstra claims it will bring broadband speeds into line with "some of the fastest residential services in the world."
Upon completion of the FTTP project, Point Cook residents will be able to take up a fibre service or choose to simply retain their existing copper line.
Telstra will trial an interim wholesale offering over the fibre once the upgrade is complete, but will not reveal retail and wholesale offerings until closer to the project's completion.