Primus challenges local call market

Preparing to come head to head with telco giant Telstra, Primus Telecom yesterday announced a rollout program that is set to firmly secure its position in the local call market.

The announcement follows the recent draft decision by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to provide competing carriers with access to Telstra's local loop.

Called the "Rollout Exchange" program, Primus will use access to Telstra's copper lines and the ACCC's decision to declare simple resale of Telstra's local service, to expand its local service to over 900,000 CBD workers by mid 1999.

According to officials, Primus plans to establish exchanges in line with 20 Telstra CBD exchange sites throughout Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane in a move which is expected to generate local revenues in excess of $50 million.

Primus' CBD fibre network along with Telstra's copper lines will be used to extend Primus' existing network to corporate and small business customer sites. Officials said access to Telstra's copper will also provide broadband access to Primus' Internet service, InternetPrimus and other data services.

According to officials, the ACCC's ruling to declare Telstra's local service for resale will cover areas not accessible to Telstra's copper network and will allow Primus to expand its full service offering into all parts of the marketplace.