The nation's largest telco, Telstra, today denied what it said were rumours that its National Broadband Network negotiations with the Federal Government and NBN Co were about to reach a conclusion.
"This rumour is unfounded," the telco said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange this morning. "As we have previously advised the market in our ASX announcement of 19 March 2009, negotiations are continuing in relation to NBN. These negotiations remain incomplete and confidential."
"Telstra will continue to keep investors and the market informed," the telco added.
It is believed Telstra meant to refer to March 2010, when it informed the market that a gulf had opened up between its financial expectations and those of NBN Co in about how Telstra's assets and customers could be migrated to the new fibre network.
"Currently there is a significant gap between Telstra and NBN Co on what each party considers to be an acceptable financial outcome, and there are also a range of commercial matters that are yet to be agreed," the telco said in a brief update to shareholders on the status of the talks on that date.
The trio have been negotiating for months on the exact terms of which the telco would work with NBN Co on migrating its retail customers across to the planned new fibre network and other matters such as access to Telstra's infrastructure.
Both are seen as critical factors to the success of the NBN, particularly on an economic basic. In Telstra's half-yearly results in February, Telstra chief executive David Thodey highlighted the complex nature of the talks.