Australia's NBN Co has announced the first 12 companies that will provide services during mainland trials of the National Broadband Network.
The companies, including incumbent operator Telstra and challenger Optus, have all signed deals to become retail service providers on the wholesale network.
The companies will now deliver trial services in the five NBN first release sites on the mainland.
Also participating will be ISPs iiNet, SkyMesh, Exetel, AAPT and iPrimus. Internode has also signed on, despite making waves last week by declaring that the NBN's pricing model is “insane” and will price smaller ISPs out of the market.
The other participants will be fiber network operator Nextgen Networks, voice and data services aggregator Nextgen Networks, business telecom provider Comscentre and AARNet, a non-profit that provides ISP services to research organizations.
NBN Co head of sales Jim Hassell said that the 12 companies make up a combined 95% of the market in the first-release sites.
He said iiNet, Internode, iPrimus and Telstra have already completed the process required to sign on to offer services, and are now expected to be the first to connect customers in Armidale - the site planned to go live first.
The NBN rollout started in the island state of Tasmania, where services have already commenced. Internode and iPrimus both claimed to be the ISPs that had signed up the first NBN customer. Telstra is also participating.
NBN Co still needs to reach an agreement with Telstra over the terms of its wider contribution to the project – including structurally separating, selling off its ducts and migrating its customers to the NBN – but a handshake is expected by the end of the month.