TelstraClear's approach to the Auckland City Council for consent to dig up residential streets to lay fibre optic cable shouldn't be taken as a sign of any imminent network rollout, says spokesman Ralph Little.
"It's really just getting the wheels in motion. It's not predicating any decisions that may be made in the future about our strategy," says Little.
"You either start the process now or you do it in six months' time. It's more prudent to do it now."
TelstraClear has applied for resource consent to dig up 2700 suburban streets as part of its massive network build that will ultimately connect Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
Telstra had signalled it would spend $1.2 billion on its network in New Zealand but had ceased work on its rollout pending the merger of operations at Telstra and Clear. Clear already owns both fibre and non-fibre network assets in Auckland and TelstraClear management will assess how best to incorporate that into its future plans.
"This doesn't imply there will be a massive rollout in suburban Auckland," says Little.
Telstra has indicated it would look more to the corporate market in the future rather than the consumer as corporate customers are "high value" compared with the residential market.