Telstra-NBN deal timing called into question

Summary:Questions have been raised as to whether the deal between the National Broadband Network Company (NBN Co) and Telstra can be completed by 20 December, at which point the deal would be terminated.

Questions have been raised as to whether the deal between the National Broadband Network Company (NBN Co) and Telstra can be completed by 20 December, at which point the deal would be terminated.

The government, NBN Co and Telstra signed definitive agreements in June, which see Telstra lease its ducts to NBN Co and move its customers onto the network in return for $11 billion. This deal was dependent on a shareholder vote and ACCC approval of a structural separation undertaking (SSU) from Telstra, which lays out how the company will separate its business units so that they don't operate in a vertically integrated fashion.

Reports in the Australian Financial Review and The Australian this morning quoted sources saying that delays with providing a revised structural separation undertaking would put a spoke in the wheels of the deal, as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) now no longer has enough time to deliberate over any undertaking it receives before the deadline.

However, Telstra released a statement this morning saying that although it had yet to submit a revised structural separation undertaking to the ACCC, it is still in deliberations with the ACCC, and it has an eye on the time that it has remaining.

"Telstra is currently considering the time needed to complete the conditions precedent. Should an extension to the end date be required to provide the ACCC time to conclude its consideration of the SSU, then Telstra will communicate it to shareholders when such an agreement is reached with NBN Co."

Much of the NBN roll-out depends on this deal, as NBN Co executives have said that without Telstra's ducts, it would cost a lot more to build.

Topics: Broadband, Government, Government : AU, NBN, Telcos, Telstra

About

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for t... Full Bio

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