AAPT fibre to reach all 121 NBN interconnect points

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AAPT fibre to reach all 121 NBN interconnect points
David Yuile.

AAPT chief executive officer David Yuile has revealed plans to extend the telco's fibre network in a bid to reach all 121 points of interconnect under the National Broadband Network.

The telco's 11,000 kilometre fibre network was currently capable of connecting to 70 percent - or 85 - of the points of interconnect.

Yuile said AAPT was prepared to deploy fibre to connect to some of the remaining points, but could not guarantee it would build to every PoI location in Australia.

He foreshadowed collaboration with Telstra, Optus and others to reach some of the PoIs.

"There's no point in all [Australia's telcos] building to the same location if it's hundreds of kilometres away, we'll just get smarter about that," Yuile said.

AAPT had not always been in favour of such network extensions. 

In a 2009 submission [PDF] to the Federal Government, AAPT wrote it could not "commercially justify" the extension of its fibre network to service business customers in areas such as Port Macquarie, Geraldton and Darwin.

Parts of Geraldton and Darwin had since been identified as second release sites under the NBN, with rollout there expected to begin later this year.

Other national service providers were considering how they could connect to the 121 PoIs.

iiNet, which already acquires some wholesale fibre from AAPT, was targeting 16 points of interconnect to service early NBN customers.

In order to reach the remaining 105 points, it would need to utilise its own assets or lease backhaul fibre from others.


AAPT had recently passed a two-week network certification process through NBN Co with "flying colours", according to Yuile.

The process, which involved a "vast array" of interoperability and service assurance tests for NBN customers on AAPT's own fibre network, lit the way for the telco to sell directly to business customers in the first five mainland release sites.

It would also add the NBN to aggregation services it planned to offer. It competed in this space with the likes of Nextgen and Platform Networks.

Trials in the first five NBN mainland sites had been conducted through four interim points of interconnect in the major capital cities.

Patchwork quilt ahead for NBN

Yuile said he had led months-long negotiations with NBN Co to become an aggregator from day one as part of his previous chief operating officer role.

It gathered pace with the departure of Yuile's predecessor - the newly-appointed chief of Infrastructure NSW Paul Broad - who was known for his public criticism of various aspects of the NBN.

Although Yuile has a warmer approach to the $36 billion network and NBN Co, he warned a true NBN was years away, and would likely be a mix of access networks from AAPT, NBN Co and incumbent Telstra in the interim.

"The reality of Australia over the next 10 to 15 years as the NBN rolls out is that many networks will be required to provide services to customers," he said.

AAPT's plans to offer services to business customers in the first five release sites had been limited somewhat by NBN Co's own roadmap, which put true business connectivity on the network toward the end of 2012.

The aggregation product would be offered to service providers as a coherent offering, rather than splitting it up into NBN and non-NBN tiers.

"More often than not [ISPs] don't turn up and say 'I won't one service in Armidale'," he said.

"They say 'I've got 1000 shops and I want services in 1000 locations' and what we'll do as an aggregator is we'll provide that service to them using our network primarily, and in some cases we'll use Telstra and NBN.

"As NBN rolls out further we'll probably blend in more of the NBN network."

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