Telstra 'rejects Govt broadband plan'
Posted 4 hours 34 minutes ago
Telstra has reportedly ridiculed the Federal Government's plan for a public-private partnership to build a national broadband network.
During the election campaign, Labor pledged to invest up to $4.7 billion, in partnership with the private sector, to build a fibre-to-the-node broadband network.
Labor said the plan would, within five years, connect 98 per cent of Australians to broadband internet, at speeds up to 40 times faster than most current connections.
But Telstra chief executive Sol Trujillo has told The Australian the company would never agree to any form of joint ownership, writing it off as a "kumbaya, holding hands" theory.
"We are only going to participate in the things that we own and control," the paper quotes him as saying.
Mr Trujillo says Telstra is happy to invest $4 billion of its own money - rather than taxpayers' - in a broadband network, but only on its own terms and pricing.
Mr Trujillo says Telstra is also concerned the Competition and Consumer Commission would set the prices that could be charged for using the network.
He has warned that the Australian economy risks severe damage without a a significant investment in broadband.
ABC shut out
Yesterday's media briefing by Mr Trujillo and Donald McGauchie was confined to Fairfax and News Limited editors and selected reporters. Other media organisations, including the ABC, were excluded.