Telstra boss seeks money for copper: Conroy

Telstra boss seeks money for copper: Conroy

Summary: Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has said that Telstra CEO David Thodey is talking up the state of the copper network to get more money should the Coalition change the NBN policy.


Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has said that Telstra CEO David Thodey's comments that the copper access network could last another 100 years is proof that the Coalition would not get the network for free if the National Broadband Network (NBN) policy changes after the September election.

The Coalition's fibre-to-the-node (FttN) policy alternative to Labor's fibre-to-the-premises (FttP) NBN would require substantial renegotiation for the AU$11 billion deal with Telstra to gain ownership of the copper line between each node and each premises. Turnbull has previously said that despite the original NBN deal taking over two years to finish, he believes that the renegotiation can be done quickly, and without Telstra getting more than under the current plan.

Yesterday, Thodey told journalists that he believes the copper network is in good condition, and could stand to last for another 100 years. While the statement would have come as a welcome relief to supporters of the Coalition's policy who were unsure of the state of the ageing copper network, Conroy said today that it was instead the "belling of the cat" for a potentially costly renegotiation of the Telstra-NBN deal.

"What you see here is the beginnings of disproving what Malcolm Turnbull is claiming. He's saying he can get the copper network for free from Telstra," he said.

"[Thodey] wants more money for the copper network."

Conroy said that given the reported AU$1 billion per year that Telstra spends maintaining the copper network, buying the copper from Telstra would be "the dumbest government policy decision I have ever seen".

The minister made the comments at the NBN switch-on for 10,000 more premises in Gungahlin in the Australian Capital Territory. Conroy indicated that nationwide, there is now a 37 percent uptake of services on the NBN.

Topics: NBN, Government, Government AU, Telstra


Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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  • Are you sure DT didn't say...

    Could stand to last for *another #100 years

    * Up to

    # Years are theoretical network maximum. Actual years may be less due to a number of factors...
    • Conroy and RS

      Quick take notes; ignore reality here and overseas. Listen to those with nothing;-)

      "Obsolete": great RS post. Told you at the time it was a keeper.

      Every week keeps getting better:-)
      Richard Flude
      • Yes


        Which part needs explaining further?
    • "* Up to"

      LOL, It's the Telstra way;-)

      Seriously RS I think the copper will last just as long as Telstra wants it to... Especially helpful to the cause is when you have chumps like Tumbull who are willing to waste billions of taxpayer dollars to use it in poorly thought out broadband plan;-)
      Hubert Cumberdale
      • Telstra's Alan Bond

        And what is better is that the Taxpayer will pay Billions to remediate and upgrade those underground assetts for Telstra who can make Billions out of the maintenance contracts on top.
        And on top competition to the very lucrative Pay TV network they have 50/50 with The Amighty Rupert the Great Deceiver will be safe from true competition yet still allow for expansion of a limited service at a price

        The LNP have truly been good and faithfull servants and delivered the goods, but then Rupe did the programming and conditioning of the mug voters

        Come in Suckers
        Abel Adamski
        • what is it with you

          and your antagonistic comments about one of the most successful business men Australia has produced, is this a manifestation of the "tall poppy" syndrome often referenced when less successful people gaze upon the rich and famous?
          The sucker in this broadband debacle is NBN Co, who has been consistent in one outcome, that being failing to meet any goal, and just screwing up everything they touch.
          Knowledge Expert
          • Past History and clear thinking and an aversion to being gulled

            Yes I am fighting for Integrity, Honesty and Real Democracy which depends an a factually informed vote.
            That is currently impossible in Australia, Rupe the Great Deceiver has ensured that
            In partnership with the Looney Right




            Successfull in Australia, it has been a relentless campaign of Misinformation, distortion, deception and naked Bias.
            Now it is obvious Democracy is being trashed by our Media with the Murdoch news having manipulated and shaped a gullible easily led public with the help of shock jocks etc, suddenly like all Bullies and Agressors they blame their Target and push for Rudd as leader of Labor placing all the responsibility on their scapegoat Julia, obviously Rudd has sold out to Rupe and Gina.
            So under no circumstance vote for a Rudd led Labor, Vote minor party or independent tpo keep them honest.
            Remember Abbott and the gang of four and their machinations and financial support to pervert the course of justice and have someone falsely imprisoned.
            Great leadership example, plus they have established the way it is, sabotage, destroy, deceive, and lie through our teeth to benefit your wealthy and powerfull supporters.

            Why?, money and power


            The FTTP NBN would enable competition and threaten the viability of their Australian Goebellion Propaganda network.

            IMO if Labor had dumped the FTTP NBN, the media would have painted a different picture and we would not have had a hung parliament or the hatreds and dissention in our community that will continue to fester and grow regardless of the election result. Reap what ye sow
            Abel Adamski
          • Move

            Try Syria
  • "Actual years may be less due to a number of factors..."

    Like plastic bags;-)

    "Unions raise doubts over Telstra's copper network; workers using plastic bags to waterproof cables"

    ""There is no bandaid solution to this - whether it's in Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide, country towns - plastic bags and ringbarked cables are everywhere.

    "It's time to replace the whole network, not a part of it.""

    Coalition clown solution: Ignore them, ignore good advice. Trust asbestos king Thodey;-)
    Hubert Cumberdale