According to AAPT chief Paul Broad, it was a "breath of fresh air" negotiating a new $500 million a year telco-wide supply deal announced today with post-Trujillo Telstra.
AAPT CEO Paul Broad
"We were very encouraged in the post-Sol era, under David Thodey, how constructive Telstra Wholesale has been in doing this deal," Broad told ZDNet.com.au this afternoon. "Given we spend $500m a year with Telstra it's a pretty important deal," he added.
The agreement struck yesterday between Australia's third-largest telco and Telstra Wholesale builds on an existing arrangement signed in 1991 when the Telecom New Zealand subsidiary commenced its fixed line offering in Australia. AAPT is Telstra's second-largest wholesale customer, the largest being Optus.
The 12-month deal covers all services AAPT acquires from Telstra, including wholesale line rental, which is currently being disputed under the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, local carriage service and PSTN-originating terminating access.
Broad said the negotiations mark a new era for the way Telstra does business with its wholesale customers. "Having had those four years of difficulty dealing with Sol and his entourage, it's just such a breath of fresh air now to be able to do these sorts of things," he said.
"Not to say that it was easy nor that either party gave ground, but at the end of the day we were happy to do the deal, shake hands, have a cup of tea and move on," he said.
Telstra's side of the negotiation was headed up Paul Geason, recently appointed Wholesale group managing director. Geason had worked under Thodey during the chief's time as general manager of Telstra's Enterprise and Government Division at an executive director level, but was transferred to Wholesale shortly after Thodey's appointment earlier this year.
"This agreement clearly demonstrates that Telstra Wholesale is eager and willing to work with its customers to achieve commercial results for all parties," said Geason in a statement.