Turnbull looks forward to Telstra deal

Turnbull looks forward to Telstra deal

Summary: The federal opposition has rejected suggestions that Telstra has it over a barrel because it needs the telco's copper wires for its alternative National Broadband Network.

TOPICS: NBN, Telstra

The Coalition released its long-awaited National Broadband Network (NBN) policy last week, promising to deliver a scaled-down, cheaper version than Labor's AU$37.4 billion network, but without the same internet download speeds.

Labor plans to replace Telstra's copper network with fibre optic cables.

Under the cost-saving Coalition plan, fibre broadband cables would be rolled out to the node — a cabinet on a street corner — with Telstra's copper network connecting to the home.

This has raised concerns about how negotiations will play out with a historically hard-nosed Telstra, which is currently being compensated AU$11 billion for Labor's plan to turn off the copper and to stop offering broadband.

The copper network is also estimated to suck up AU$1 billion in annual maintenance costs.

"I know that it is in their best interest to support the approach we're taking," opposition communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull told ABC TV on Sunday.

"Our approach is somewhere between neutral and a mild positive for Telstra shareholders.

"Uncertainty, disagreement, tension with government has never been good for Telstra shareholders.

"I am very confident that we'll achieve speedily the slight rearrangements to the agreements we're talking about."

Turnbull said that while the Coalition would want to renegotiate with Telstra, the telco and its rivals would benefit from being able to compete with the NBN on broadband.

"Labor ... is the only government in the world that is building a new wholly government-owned telecommunications monopoly," he said.

"Every government I can think of was seeking to bring competition and private ownership into telecoms."

Labor argues that its version is simpler.

Its so-called Rolls-Royce NBN plan would also deliver fibre optic connections to 93 percent of Australian homes at 100 megabits per second (Mbps) by 2021.

The Coalition's AU$20.4 billion plan will give the majority of homes 25 megabits or more (compared to a current average of 4.3) by 2016, with only 22 percent of homes connected to fibre.

Topics: NBN, Telstra

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


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • "slight rearrangements", yeah, right

    The ACCC/ACMA put the cost of the CAN at $19B, some in the industry think it's a lot more (up to $40B). Unless he "encourages" Telstra with a nice regulatory present, I can't even see "his" NBN costing less than the FTTP one...
  • The eventual result?

    Lets see;
    First a CBA
    Then11Billion already committed to Telstra
    Now buy back the copper we sold at Telstra’s price & terms then try to maintain it at an extra 1billion PA.
    Power & maintenance costs for 60,000+ kerbside nodes.
    Running our NBN at a loss due to competition from the Telstra & Opus rival & faster HFC networks in all the profitable metro areas with subsidies required to provide service to the remainder.
    Patching & replacing all the 100 year old failing copper with more copper?? (mustn’t use FTTP/H)

    Hmmm…in conclusion:
    Bugger it, Abbott didn’t write it in blood. We’ll just scrap this white elephant & go back to one of our previous back of the napkin plans & replace/switch all those nodes with wireless towers on every corner until my mate A Jones' magical German laser beams eventuate. (apparently they don’t require fibre for transmission)
    You OK with that Murdoch, old pal?
  • Turnbull likes fibre to the home

    Turnbull likes fibre to the home - in France & Spain

    Opposition communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull is opposed to putting fibre-optic cables all the way into Australian households - but that is what he is investing in.
    “If Australians want to know what Malcolm Turnbull really thinks about investing in fibre to the home, they need to follow his money, not his mouth.