Primus signs NBN Co Wholesale Broadband Agreement

Primus Australia today signed NBN Co’s Wholesale Broadband Agreement (WBA), enabling the telco to sign up customers in areas where the National Broadband Network (NBN) has been rolled out.

Primus chief executive, Tom Mazerski, told Computerworld Australia that the NBN will open up new markets for the telco, such as those in the country’s regional and rural areas.

“People in very regional areas can have access to a high-speed broadband capability that is fibre based and that’s going to open up the markets that we just never looked at before,” he said.

“The fact that we can then connect them to our fibre rings is going to open up the new services we’ll be able to deploy for anyone in Australia that has an NBN connection.”

The NBN will also offer greater speeds and more capacity for Primus services once connected to the telco’s fibre rings, optical transport network and Metro Fibre network.

It will work with NBN Co to deliver a broad range of fibre services, including “true fibre voice” services over its existing voice network.

However, Mazerski said Primus Australia initially held off signing the WBA until today because of liability issues and pricing issues for low-income groups and pensioners.

“Our number one issue now that we believe needs to be solved is for those low-income groups and pensioners that will have fibre connected to their homes but they only want a voice service, they don’t want a broadband service, that their prices don’t go up and that their installations are seamless,” Mazerski said.

Despite the pricing issue not being resolved, the telco decided to sign the agreement as the term of the WBA was reduced from an initial five years to one.

“We just compromised to slim the agreement down to the one year instead of five, and we continue to talk so that we can gain much firmer agreement in place that is more like a five or greater year agreement,” Mazerski said.

The WBA is the 12-month contract ISPs enter into to sell commercial services over the NBN.

Follow Diana Nguyen on Twitter: @diananguyen9

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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