G9 fibre group steps up lobbying

in brief A group of Telstra's major rivals known as the G9 have placed full-page advertisements in major newspapers in an effort to prevent a deal between Telstra and the federal government on a new national fibre broadband network. "Telstra is offering to build the network -- but only if it gets its monopoly back," the advertisements state.

in brief A group of Telstra's major rivals known as the G9 have placed full-page advertisements in major newspapers in an effort to prevent a deal between Telstra and the federal government on a new national fibre broadband network.

"Telstra is offering to build the network -- but only if it gets its monopoly back," the advertisements state. "The G9 group of telcos has its own plans to upgrade Australia's broadband. We are hard at work preparing a formal application to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission."

The move comes as Communications Minister Senator Helen Coonan has in recent weeks appeared to signal she was close to a deal with Telstra on the terms under which a new national fibre broadband network would be built.

"In the foreseeable future, it would have to be Telstra," Coonan told the Lateline Business program on ABC television in early April, referring to how a fibre network could be constructed. "Clearly, the most efficient way is to ensure that Telstra is enabled in a way that they can build it with a proper commercial return, but that there is proper access for competitors and that you don't do it at the expense of simply winding back the competition laws."

The telcos involved in the G9 group are AAPT, iiNet, Internode, Macquarie Telecom,Optus, PowerTel,Primus, Soul and TransACT.

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