Telstra won't wait forever for fibre project

25 Jun 2007

Telstra has outlined its position on a proposed AUD4.1 billion (USD3.5 billion) fibre-optic network to a newly formed government panel, according to a senior executive. ‘We have submitted a document to the panel,’ Phil Burgess, Telstra’s group managing director of public policy and communications, told Sky News Business. `We lay out what we think the panel ought to be thinking about when they make their decision.’

Telstra wants to invest in fibre-optic cables to protect its 60% share of Australia’s AUD36 billion telecommunications market, as rivalry increases from wireless and internet communications companies. Australia’s government formed a panel last week to assess proposals to build a national, high- speed fibre-optic network in major cities.Telstra and a group of nine companies led by SingTel are trying to win regulatory support for their competing plans for a fiber-to-the-node (FTTN) network.

For competitive reasons, Telstra won’t reveal a lot of detail on its plans for the network to the government panel, Burgess said. The company will participate in the tender process so long as it doesn’t extend into next year.`If it’s next March, we are not going to be at the table,’ Burgess said. `We’ll be part of the tender process as long as they follow procedures that are responsible.’ Earlier this month, Telstra’s Chief Executive Officer Sol Trujillo said the company will invest elsewhere if a decision takes `months rather than weeks.’

Australia, Telstra (incl. Belong)