Tesltra and NBN finally have a deal!

Australia The internet of fiber was abuzz this week-end at the news that Telstra and the Australian Government have finally agreed to a deal regarding the purchase of Telstra's passive assets currently used for copper telephony and broadband. For more detail of the deal (at least what is known of it) you can check out this ABCNews article.

What's interesting here is that this is the first example (worldwide, as far as I know) of a copper switch-off plan. NBN has (correctly) understood that the success of a national fiber network competing with a legacy copper network would be slow coming, and that a fiber switchover strategy was necessary. This is, incidentally, exactly what was recommended for France by a recent study for the DATAR.

Unfortunately, while this is the only strategy that really makes sense for a national roll-out, very few governments have the political courage to wrestle the incumbent for such a deal. In this approach, there's also a tacit approval (even though I don't know if that argument has sprouted in Australia) of the fact that liberalisation wasn't done the way it should have been (with the assets separated from the service companies).

So it's good news for Australia, even though the political landscape there is darkening, and the opposition already stated that they would can the whole project if they came back to power…