Telstra has begun winding-down services on its copper network, freeing-up the decades-old telecoms infrastructure for sale to NBN Co.

The equipment will be shut down as part of a deal to keep competition out of NBN-ready areas.

The change-over meant NBN Co was rushing to urge customers in NBN areas to change over to the national network, before their previous options are cut off.

Telstra agreed to an $11 billion deal with NBN Co, which includes stipulations that it disconnect its copper network within 18 months of the NBN arriving in an area, to ensure NBN Co does not face competition from copper services.

The first 15 sites to have their copper turned off will be:

  • New South Wales - Armidale, Minnamurra and Kiama Downs
  • Victoria - South Morang and Brunswick
  • Queensland - Townsville, Aitkenvale and Mundingburra
  • South Australia - Willunga
  • Tasmania - Deloraine, George Town, Kingston Beach, Sorell, St Helens and Triabunna

Many customers have expressed annoyance at being forced onto the new network, a lack of replacement coverage in some areas, and long delays for the companies to actually make the changes.

Telstra says it will be making sure that customer with copper-based medical alert service, or other necessary equipment, are not stranded by the switch.