The Hills Industries / OptiComm joint venture company has welcomed the Government’s announcement of its proposed $43billion investment in Fibre to the Home for Australia.

OptiComm General Manager of Operations Stephen Davies said “OptiComm welcomes this announcement by the government; it is an important and critical decision.”

Mr Davies who has been in the telecommunications industry for 22 years has been a champion for Fibre to the Home in this country for the past 8 years, having been involved in the first Australian deployment in 2001. “Prior to joining OptiComm last year I had been a vocal critic of the former National Broadband Network proposal based on Fibre to the Node, because it was not going to deliver the world-leading broadband infrastructure this nation needed. Already some 30 countries have started to roll Fibre to the Home on a large scale, be that driven via Government strategy or private investment. For Australia to have built a network using outdated technology it would have left us as a technology backwater and placed us at a significant disadvantage to other countries in the Global Knowledge Economy."

"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and this country needs to grab it with both hands. Building a network of this type will put Australia at the forefront of the world digital economy. It won’t be ‘see how Japan is doing it’ anymore; we will become the centre piece of broadband innovation and a reference to all other countries.”

For the past 3 years, Opticomm has been working with developers in greenfield estates to build this nation’s infrastructure using Fibre to the Home technology. With already 20 estates and some 50,000 homes under contract, the company has been at the forefront of this advancement.

Steve Cope – Hills Industries Group General Manager - Electronic Security and Entertainment, commented “the Hills/OptiComm JV was created to deliver FTTH to the Australian market, and our focus has primarily been on Greenfield developments. This government decision validates the business model, and would give significant comfort to the many major property developers who are currently engaged with OptiComm. We always saw the structure of the OptiComm networks - being open access - as the most logical and strategically sustainable model for developers, content providers, and consumers”

Opticomm General Manager of Carrier Relations, Phil Smith said “The structure of the new NBN Company being an ‘Open Access, Wholesale-only’ service provider is the model OptiComm has been operating under since its creation. We adopted this model because we believed it is the only way the telecommunications market should operate with a network owner being totally separated from the retailing of services. Retailers know they are being treated equally and on a level playing field – which is all they have asked for over the past 12 years of deregulation in Australia.”

“The proposal to mandate all new developments from 1st July 2010 to have Fibre to the Home will generate significant employment in our business and its supply partners. We are already using FTTH products developed and manufactured in Australia for the global market. This is a great stimulus for the industry, which will not be short term. “We are particularly encouraged by the Government announcement to create a working group on Greenfield development and the affect this proposal will have. We look forward to participating in the consultation process and look forward to working with the Government to assist in the implementation of its strategy.”


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