Australian telco Telstra could be forced to split its operations in two, to help reconcile the need for a nationwide broadband network. According to communications minister Helen Coonan, making Telstra separate its retail and network businesses is one option currently being considered. Just last week New Zealand’s government ruled that Telecom New Zealand would have to be broken up into three operating units.
Telstra’s plans to build a broadband network stalled over pricing after two years of negotiations with regulators. The government now plans to hold an open tender for the building of the broadband network, but may make Telstra split its businesses first so there is a level playing field between rival bidders. A rival consortium headed by Optus, has also put forward proposals to build a fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) network and other companies are also understood to be considering bidding.