It's 20 years this week since Optus was granted its licence — on Twisted Wire we look back at the early days.
On 19 November 1991 Optus was awarded a carrier licence, launching a new fixed line and mobile competitor to Telecom — it was long overdue. These were the days when a call to the UK cost $1.40 per minute, the equivalent of $2.30 in today's money.
Talking at a CEDA (the Committee for Economic Development of Australia) lunch last week, Optus CEO Paul O Sullivan said it's now 20 years "since the party started". We hear some of his talk in this episode of Twisted Wire.
John Filmer, a senior executive of Optus for 10 years, says the story really started when the government established Aussat. Taking on the fledgling operation and its $800 million debt was part of the condition of the Optus licence.
But the new carrier was to lose even more on its failed OptusVision experiment. The roll-out of a hybrid-fibre coaxial network, replicated by Telstra, demonstrated the importance of regulation in an industry dominated by a cash-rich incumbent. Andrew Sheridan, Optus general manager interconnect and economic regulation, discusses the role legislation and regulation played in the history of the company.