NBN Co. is bolstering its fiber to the premises (FTTP) network plans by purchasing iiNet's TransACT-branded network and related infrastructure in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) for AUD 9 million (USD 8.79 million).
The purchase enables NBN Co. to immediately expand its fiber-based broadband footprint into an additional 8,500 premises and gives it new network assets that are either planned or under construction that will cover another 4,500 premises.
Residential and business customers in Canberra and other small townships, including Williamsdale, Naas, Uriarra, Tharwa and Hall, will be able to access the fiber-based broadband services.
Under the terms of the agreement, TransACT will finish building the pit-and-pipe infrastructure in a number of new estates where developer agreements are in place until 2017. It will then transfer ownership of the infrastructure to NBN Co. at no charge. In addition, NBN Co. will pay for long-term access to TransACT's extensive system of underground ducts.
TransACT will also provide technical support to ensure the transition has little, if any, effect on its existing customers.
With the national broadband network rollout suffering delays due to a lack of qualified workers and "ambitious" targets, Mike Quigley, CEO of NBN Co., said the agreement with iiNET will accelerate the pace at which it could deliver FTTP services.
"This is a good deal for iiNet, for NBN Co. and for residents passed by the TransACT network in the ACT," he said in a statement. "For our part, it brings forward NBN Co's ability to earn revenues, reduces construction costs and limits community disruption."
Complementing its own organic and partner efforts, iiNet has been growing its FTTP footprint through targeted acquisitions, including Internode and TransACT in 2011. As of the end of 2012, iiNet had signed up 10,000 FTTP customers.
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