Rivals' fibre plan a scam: Telstra

Rivals' fibre plan a scam: Telstra

Summary: Telstra says a proposal floated today by its major competitors to upgrade the nation's broadband infrastructure is designed to rip off taxpayers and Telstra's shareholders. Telcos Optus, Macquarie Telecom, PowerTel, Primus, Internode, Soul and TransACT this morning outlined a proposal where they and potentially others would collectively fund the building of a new national high-speed fibre-optic telecommunications network that all telcos could access and use to sell broadband services.

SHARE:
Telstra says a proposal floated today by its major competitors to upgrade the nation's broadband infrastructure is designed to rip off taxpayers and Telstra's shareholders.

Telcos Optus, Macquarie Telecom, PowerTel, Primus, Internode, Soul and TransACT this morning outlined a proposal where they and potentially others would collectively fund the building of a new national high-speed fibre-optic telecommunications network that all telcos could access and use to sell broadband services.

The group sees a similar plan put forward by Telstra in November and currently being discussed between the heavyweight and the nation's competition regulator as a threat to competition in the Australian telecommunications market.

Although the rival group said Telstra would be invited to participate in this morning's proposal, a spokesperson for the heavyweight described it as "a pick-pocket plan to rip-off Telstra shareholders and taxpayers."

"Together these companies are bigger than Telstra, yet they want to risk our shareholders' savings, not their own capital, to build their own fibre network," the spokesperson told ZDNet Australia via e-mail.

They added the group of telcos wanted others to carry investment risks while they skimmed profits off the top.

"Their plan is like pitching a tent on top of a skyscraper, then demanding rent from all the tenants," they said.

Making reference to a previous proposal from SingTel subsidiary Optus under which Optus and Telstra would have jointly built a network, the Telstra spokesperson Optus was like a broken record.

"It's Groundhog Day again for Singtel Optus -- its at least the third time Singtel Optus has suggested this, but now they want to cut their proposed minor investment in Australian telecommuncations seven ways," the Telstra spokesperson said.

Optus chief executive Paul O'Sullivan told journalists in a media briefing this morning that the proposal would help Telstra as well as its competitors.

"We believe what we're proposing will actually be better for Australia, and indeed for Telstra in terms of getting certainty around the process [of upgrading the nation's broadband infrastructure]," he said.

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

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

3 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Other Telco's according to Telstra

    What a load!

    Telstra, you should be ashamed of yourself. You're way more guilty of this type of behaviour than anyone else in Oz.
    To think, you have done so many low-down, rotten things along the way; to throw crap the way you have I hope it all blows back in your face.

    Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!
    anonymous
  • Telstra, Line Sharing, Other Telco's Etc.

    It is about time Telstra packed up their "bucket and spade", welcome to the real world, "competition!". This is a public company, funded by taxpayer dollars! Play by the rules, The public has been ripped enough, competion is the name of the game. Stop hiding behind Government skirts, and crying foul.

    Former Telstra Customer.
    anonymous
  • cry to someone who cares

    oh dear, such a shame. Someone might roll out a network that's rated at more than 2400 baud and add some decent competition to the marketplace.
    Pity, pity, poor little Telstra - it would be so sad to eat into the billions of dollars profit that the buzzards make each year!
    About time some of these CEOs pulled their heads out of their bums and did some real work instead of getting exhorbitant paychecks for nothing but long lunches and golf trips while the work is delegated to the "real" workers futher down the food chain.
    How much longer is the system going to be ripped off?
    cybergus