Australian government preps Telstra split proposals

12 May 2009

The Australian is reporting that the government may offer incumbent Telstra the chance to buy up to 49% of the proposed national broadband network (NBN), if it agrees to a voluntary separation of its wholesale operations. It is claimed that the government is currently putting together the proposal, which Communications Minister Stephen Conroy is expected to put to the company when he meets with the new CEO, David Thodey, in the next few weeks. The first mooted step of the proposal would reportedly allow Telstra to acquire a 20% stake in the NBN public-private company in return for divesting its fibre-optic network into the new business.

The report also notes that the formation of the corporate structure for the NBN company is moving forward; a chairman is expected to be selected soon, following which an independent firm will be brought in to select the remaining members of the board. Conroy is also expected to issue tenders for the network build shortly.