As the announcement of the winner of the tender for the National Broadband Network (NBN) gets closer, its getting more and more nasty out there on telco street.
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Telstra has come out swinging this afternoon says that businesses and consumers would be the big losers under a Terria-built National Broadband Network, after its shock revelation today it would demand a guaranteed monopoly.
Group Managing Director for Telstra Public Policy and Communications, David Quilty, said Terria’s stunning demands showed it wanted to take Australia back to the last century and re-monopolise the nation’s telecommunications industry, depriving Australians the choice and innovation produced by true infrastructure competition.
“While Terria crows about fairness and encouraging competition it is really the monopolist hiding in the shadows,” Quilty said.
This follows an interview by Terria’s bid manager, Michael Simmons, who said in today’s The Australian: “Our proposition to the Government is that no party be allowed to expand the network and operate in competition to the national broadband network … you must preclude any alternative broadband network”.
Quilty said the comments from Simmons were “blatantly hypocritical and risked making Australia an international laughing stock”.
“Terria’s hypocrisy is outrageous and stands in stark contrast to Telstra’s position – in addition to our strong commitment to open access, we welcome and encourage infrastructure competition because of the benefits it brings to customers”, adding that, “It is recognised around the world that to improve competition and innovation you need to encourage infrastructure competition, not remove it altogether”.
Furthermore, it seems Telstra warned that if Terria was not willing to build its own infrastructure, it should be excluded from the bid altogether.
“Terria’s business case relied on Telstra being an anchor customer on its network, it needed to go back to the drawing board”, noted Quilty.