Optus seeks law change to turn tables on Telstra

21 Apr 2004

Australian alternative telco Optus will today petition for a change in the country’s telecoms law to force dominant incumbent Telstra to pay for using its regional network. Optus says that if the government shifts its stance on universal service obligation (USO) laws it would invest AUD150 million over five years to roll out its own infrastructure in rural areas, however, it is seeking to change the present legal arrangements under which it is forced to pay Telstra around AUD40 million per annum. The managing director of Optus Wholesale, Warren Hardy, hopes businesses and community leaders will support the law change which he argues will deliver lower call costs. Telstra has countered Optus’ bid, however, saying that its rival has not said where exactly in regional Australia its network would be built.