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Amcom: NBN speeds irrelevant to business

Amcom managing director Clive Stein said today that he wasn't concerned about competition from the National Broadband Network (NBN) because 100Mbps was too slow for many of his customers.
Written by Suzanne Tindal, Contributor on

Amcom managing director Clive Stein said today that he wasn't concerned about competition from the National Broadband Network (NBN) because 100Mbps was too slow for many of his customers.

"We also believe the proposed NBN is not that relevant to our customer base, as the NBN will typically offer speeds of up to 100Mbps and today 46 per cent of our customers by revenue have services operating well in excess of that level, typically at 1000Mbps," Stein said when asked about the future demand for fibre.

He also pointed out that the network is being built on a five- to seven-year time scale, which meant that any opportunities it presented would only be available to the company in the long term.

Amcom was not the first telco to take a hammer to the planned network's image. AAPT CEO Paul Broad said recently that the network was "absolute rubbish" according to a report in The Australian.

"It is a political ploy to separate Telstra. It is a political tool to beat Telstra up with because [former Communications Minister Kim] Beazley got it wrong all these years ago when they formed Telstra. This is a way of trying to correct it," he reportedly said.

Telstra CEO David Thodey recently said that the demand for fast internet speeds was latent and the government needed to be realistic about uptake numbers.

There have been calls from former Shadow Communications Minister Nick Minchin asking the government to run an in-depth cost-benefit analysis of the project.

Amcom's Stein made his comments on the network at a briefing to discuss the company's updated guidance, which tips the net profit after tax to grow 30 per cent in the 2010 financial year.

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