You can't make this stuff up: after selling its copper hybrid fibre-coax (HFC) networks to nbn, Telstra has won contracts to maintain those networks and to re-design the latter to carry the DOCSIS 3.1 data transmission standard.
nbn is the entity charged with building and operating Australia's national broadband network. Telstra, the nation's dominant telco, sold its HFC networks to nbn as part of an AU$1bn deal that also saw it hand over its last-mile copper networks.
Telstra's now announced it has won a three-year contract “fixing faults on the copper network and undertaking a small number of new connections for services that are yet to transfer to the NBN” worth AU$80m in the first year. A second, four-year, contract covers “fixing faults and connecting new services on the NBN for the Fibre to the Node (FTTN), Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), Fibre to the Basement (FTTB) and HFC technologies in select areas once a customer has migrated to the NBN.”
The big telco has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with nbn “covering the design, engineering, procurement and construction management of the NBN network in the HFC footprint covered by the existing Telstra HFC network.”
Optus is in discussions about a similar contract for its HFC networks.
It's no surprise that Telstra and Optus have scored this work: as incumbents, both possess field capacity that would otherwise have to be rebuilt from scratch. Both also have an obvious head start in terms of network knowledge. nbn has to hire someone to do this stuff, but it will stick in many craws that Australia's dominant teclos wins on two fronts by selling their network and then being paid for maintenance services. Service Stream Limited and BSA Limited have also won maintenance deals. These are, again, sensible deals as both have boots on the ground and experience with such work as contractors to the telcos.
nbn says the new deals are ”a shared management approach” that will assist its efforts to deliver the NBN on time and on budget. ®