Telstra signs its lines away

Telstra signs its lines away

Summary: In this week's Twisted Wire, we delve more into the deal between the National Broadband Network Company (NBN Co) and Telstra. It's been welcomed by everyone, it seems, except Telstra shareholders.


In this week's Twisted Wire, we delve more into the deal between the National Broadband Network Company (NBN Co) and Telstra. It's been welcomed by everyone, it seems, except Telstra shareholders.

I talk to Jim Hassell on the program this week. He is the head of product development, marketing and sales at NBN Co. I ask why it has taken so long to move from the heads of agreement to the signing of the full agreement, and he talks about how this marks several months of meticulous planning that will kick off a rolling network roll-out plan.

Steve Dalby, chief regulatory officer at iiNet, welcomes the deal, but says we need to see a lot more detail. We'll hear more from him, and from Internode founder Simon Hackett, on next week's program.

I also talk to Vas Kolesnikoff, CEO of the Australian Shareholders Association. Why has the news not been welcomed by shareholders? Telstra shares have fallen 4 per cent since last Thursday. Is this a sign that, despite a recommendation from the board, shareholders could veto the plan?

What do you think of the deal? Call the Twisted Wire feedback line on 02 9304 5198.

Running time: 27 minutes, 57 seconds

Topics: Broadband, Legal, Telcos, Telstra, NBN


Phil Dobbie has a wealth of radio and business experience. He started his career in commercial radio in the UK and, since coming to Australia in 1991, has held senior marketing and management roles with Telstra, OzEmail, the British Tourist Authority and other telecommunications, media, travel and advertising businesses.

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  • I can't wait for the Liberals to get into power and sack these overpaid public servants of NBN Co. Supposely the 'best and brightest' the industry has to offer, spruiked by Conroy, but laughable by others.

    Their time is limited, bank your money while you can NBN Co public servants, time is ticking. This financial disaster you call an 'evolution' is an abomination to the taxpayer, and the rest of private industry. You are trying to take it back 20 years, to a new monopoly and to restrict investment by competing infrastructure. Just remember them when it all falls down. What a joke...
  • I honestly couldn't care less if there was a monopoly provider or 498 providers. It's just not an issue provided we are given a fair deal.

    The sticking issue with me is that whilst I support high speed broadband and whilst I support the FTTH technology being rolled out I am still wondering how families and individuals on low incomes will manage. With some of the offers in place at the moment people on average incomes will simply not be able to afford the upgrade and will thus be left with nothing.

    What I do not support is the eventual privatisation of the network - this is where the danger begins - without strict regulation the price will go up creating a communications underclass. The Commonwealth Government will need to do more to make sure everyone can afford to connect before they go ahead with this or abandon privatisation altogether and revert to the good old days of running utilities as a community service and collecting only enough revenue to ensure the business remains sustainable.
    Lord Watchdog
  • You have a short memory. Privatisation didn't exactly do well for competition did it? With a few minor exceptions, who is the owner of the last mile infrastructure to homes in Australia.

    Yep, Telstra. Where your competition? Not much investment to restrict really, if there's only one player. NBNCo doesn't make it worse, it swaps Telstra for it, and be be honest, I'd rather it be government owned, than having the lack of maintenance that a private Telstra has allowed to ensue. Telstra's aim is to squeeze as much profit out of current infrastructure, for the least maintenance, and protect it by steamrolling any contenders to infrastructure. Don't you remember Optus/Telstra cable wars? Not a shining example of competition, and nobody has even bothered to try it again with the 800 lb gorilla in the room. NBNCo and accompanying legislation fixes that, no matter what sort of a blind eye your "government is bad" bias is.
  • Thank you for your insights and expert opinion. Where do we send the bill? :)

    Perhaps you haven't noticed, but there's been very little investment in competing infrastructure to the home in... oh... over 12 years? But this is the key event to stop that, right...

    The infrastructure where companies CAN compete will present opportunities for investment - backhaul from the POI exchange - and this is going to be a much more productive form of investment.

    The Chicken Little talk about monopoly, going back 20 years etc., is getting a bit old though. Try a new repertoire. Then you'll be able to take it on the road!