National Broadband Network dead unless Telstra involved

The Australian parliament were told the national broadband network (NBN) will be ‘dead in the water’ unless Telstra has a hand in the rollout process of the $43 billion plan. The coalition government has promised to vote against legislation in the Senate that would force structural separation on the NBN Company.

Opposition Senate leader Nick Minchin spoke to the upper house saying, ‘It is quite an extraordinary attack on a major publicly listed company by the Australian government.’ The Australian government intends to separate Telstra’s retail and wholesale businesses in order to increase competition in the telecommunications sector before the NBN rollout begins.

This act has means Telstra may be excluded from bidding on the valuable next generation wireless spectrum unless the NBN Company agrees to separate. Senator Minchin believes the government needs Telstra to build the high-speed network.

Minchin went on to say, ‘What we're seeing here is a slow-motion train wreck from (Communications Minister) Senator Conroy and his handling of this policy area… Despite Senator Conroy's claims that the NBN can be built with or without Telstra we all know that without Telstra, its customers and its network the NBN is dead in the water.’

Minchin, the former opposition communications spokesman said the current government’s legislation shouldn’t be considered until they release and respond to a proper NBN implementation study.