Telstra CEO calls for quick NBN deal renegotiation

Telstra CEO calls for quick NBN deal renegotiation

Summary: Telstra has given its strongest indication yet that it would like to see any changes to the AU$11 billion deal happen quickly.

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TOPICS: Telstra, NBN
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Following the decisive victory of the Coalition in Saturday's Australian election, Telstra CEO David Thodey has said that he would like to see a renegotiation of its AU$11 billion National Broadband Network agreement be resolved quickly.

The original agreement that the Labor government negotiated with Telstra and NBN Co over two years gives NBN Co access to Telstra's pit and ducts infrastructure for the NBN rollout, and pays Telstra each time a customer is transferred over from the copper network onto the NBN.

In order for the Coalition to be able to forge ahead with plans to switch from a fibre-to-the-premises network to a fibre-to-the-node network, this deal will need to be renegotiated to access the last section of the copper line from the node to the premises.

Prior to the election, then-Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that he didn't expect to pay Telstra any more money to access the copper line. Telstra has always maintained that it will keep the value of the existing deal for its shareholders, but has declined to go any further.

In a statement released today, however, Thodey congratulated the Coalition on its election win, and said that he wants to see a deal renegotiated quickly.

"We will engage constructively with the Coalition government on how we can best help them deliver their NBN policy commitments," he said.

"The new government has committed that they will seek to renegotiate our NBN agreements and keep Telstra shareholders whole. We will look to help facilitate this quickly, with a view to minimise uncertainty.

"While any negotiation takes place, our priority will remain to be focused on meeting our existing commitments and winning customers on the NBN where it is available."

Thodey also indicated that Telstra is interested in engaging with the government outside the area of the NBN.

"The NBN will obviously be a focus for us, but we're also interested in engaging on telecommunications more broadly, as well as innovation, regional economic development, trade, and digital economy policies, among others."

Ovum telecommunications research director David Kennedy said today that although the change in the NBN design is a potential threat to Telstra, the new NBN under the Coalition could offer more opportunities for Telstra to be involved in the project.

"We consider it likely that the new government will call on Telstra's extensive expertise in network construction to accelerate the rollout, and this will generate further revenue for Telstra," he said.

Kennedy said that a failure for the Coalition to quickly renegotiate the Telstra deal and restructure NBN Co's management and strategy could make it impossible to meet the target set for the NBN to have download speeds of at least 25Mbps by the end of 2016.

Topics: Telstra, NBN

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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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5 comments
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  • First step

    They promised first too
    · A rigorous review into NBN Co.’s current commercial progress and options to meet the Coalition’s policy objectives.

    · An independent audit into how Labor’s costly NBN was designed with no cost-benefit analysis or any consideration of other options.

    · An independent review into the long-term structure and regulation of telecommunications.

    before they renegotiate with Telstra. After all they will not know what the network should be without the analysis. Currently we only have what popped out of Turnbulls head. If there is no scientific and technical committee to look at the NBN then we will end up with a big white elephant.
    frank0-3f91e
    • NBN Petition, please show your support.

      I have started a petition to strongly urge the coalition government to reconsider their FTTN NBN proposal in favour of a superior FTTH NBN. Please show your support for this issue by signing the petition and leaving any comments/thoughts at the following link:

      http://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/the-liberal-party-of-australia-reconsider-your-plan-for-a-fttn-nbn-in-favour-of-a-superior-ftth-nbn

      Please spread the word, and refer as many of your friends and family as possible. Additionally, feel free to raise further concerns to Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull, and the coalition government by sending them an email or written letter to the addresses below.

      Tony Abbott:
      phone: (02) 6277 4022
      fax: (02) 6277 8562
      website/email: http://www.tonyabbott.com.au/ContactTony.aspx
      address: Parliament House
      RG109
      Canberra ACT 2600

      Malcolm Turnbull:
      phone: 02 6277 4144
      fax: 02 6277 8445
      website/email: http://www.malcolmturnbull.com.au/contact
      address: PO Box 6022, House of Representatives
      Parliament House, Canberra, ACT 2600

      Liberal Party Federal Secretariat:
      phone: 02 6273 2564
      fax: 02 6273 1534
      email: libadm@liberal.org.au
      address: PO Box 6004,
      Kingston ACT 2604


      Thank you for your support.
      Thepeopleof Australia
      • Big fat waste of time dude. Trying to reason with Luddites always is. Remember the coalition clowns first response to the NBN was to "demolish" it. They've set their hearts on keeping the obsolete copper. Best thing to do is sit back and enjoy the clusterfuсk with a big bowl of popcorn :-)
        Hubert Cumberdale
  • NBN Petition, please show your support.

    I have started a petition to strongly urge the coalition government to reconsider their FTTN NBN proposal in favour of a superior FTTH NBN. Please show your support for this issue by signing the petition and leaving any comments/thoughts at the following link:

    http://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/the-liberal-party-of-australia-reconsider-your-plan-for-a-fttn-nbn-in-favour-of-a-superior-ftth-nbn

    Please spread the word, and refer as many of your friends and family as possible. Additionally, feel free to raise further concerns to Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull, and the coalition government by sending them an email or written letter to the addresses below.

    Tony Abbott:
    phone: (02) 6277 4022
    fax: (02) 6277 8562
    website/email: http://www.tonyabbott.com.au/ContactTony.aspx
    address: Parliament House
    RG109
    Canberra ACT 2600

    Malcolm Turnbull:
    phone: 02 6277 4144
    fax: 02 6277 8445
    website/email: http://www.malcolmturnbull.com.au/contact
    address: PO Box 6022, House of Representatives
    Parliament House, Canberra, ACT 2600

    Liberal Party Federal Secretariat:
    phone: 02 6273 2564
    fax: 02 6273 1534
    email: libadm@liberal.org.au
    address: PO Box 6004,
    Kingston ACT 2604


    Thank you for your support.
    Thepeopleof Australia
  • HMMM

    Thodey also indicated that Telstra is interested in engaging with the government outside the area of the NBN.

    "The NBN will obviously be a focus for us, but we're also interested in engaging on telecommunications more broadly, as well as innovation, regional economic development, trade, and digital economy policies, among others."

    Quid Quo Pro for sabotaging the NBN rollout, I had hoped it was just Telstra incompetence, however the more comes out the more I have serious concerns, especially in possible dealings with the opposition. Telstra and News Ltd stand to gain ongoing Guaranteed Billions from their Safe secure Pay TV Monopoly on HFC and Satellite which will never be overbuilt by FTTP which could be a medium for competitor Pay TV organisations, yet they will still be able to tap new marklets for their download versions and products, all win no tradeoff
    Abel Adamski