17 April 2010
Warning to new land buyers: Telstra to opt out of standard telephone cabling around Australia from 1 July 2010
Big changes are underway in Australia's telecommunications network.
From 1 July 2010, copper cabling - the standard installation for a century - will cease to be installed by Telstra or any other authorised communications carrier.
The only cabling which will be permitted is optical fibre - which will be installed ONLY if an agreement has been struck between the developer of a new estate and one of carriers, not necessarily Telstra.
If this does not occur, Telstra still has a statutory obligation to provide a telephone service to all premises in Australia - which it must do for the standard connection fee of $299.
From 1 July, Telstra's legal obligation will be met by providing customers with a normal telephone connected via an aerial on the roof of the premises to their mobile phone network.
Calls will be charged at normal landline prices.
After 1 July, Telstra will meet existing legal landline commitments already "in the pipeline".
But if you are planning on buying a block of land in new estate in the near future, ask the developer what telephone connections will be provided - and demand it in writing.
Otherwise, you could be left high and dry with a substandard, unreliable mobile connection for your telephone calls, faxes and internet service.
Or wait up to 8 years for NBN, the National Broadband Network - the new super fast fibre optic network - to arrive.