The Australian is reporting that incumbent Telstra may consider a voluntary separation of its retail and wholesale operations in a bid to improve its relationship with the government. According to the newspaper, Telstra’s board has set up a special committee, headed by chairman Donald McGauchie, which is tasked with formulating a new approach for negotiating with the government. The move comes following the announcement by the state that it is to begin a comprehensive review of the country’s telecom regulations coupled with the revelation that it will build an AUD43 billion (USD31.17 billion) high speed broadband network under a public-private partnership, rather than offering the contract out to a single private entity as previously expected. Despite the claims, Telstra has declined to comment on the story.
In separate but related news Bloomberg, citing the Sydney Morning Herald, is suggesting that Telstra may drop its proposed AUD300 million upgrade to its fibre network following the recent national broadband network announcement. It is understood that mooted regulatory changes may call on Telstra to sell the network.