According to itWire, citing comments by Doug Campbell, chairman of the Tasmanian National Broadband Network (NBN) Company, the national NBN Co and incumbent Telstra are currently in negotiations that could see the latter become both a customer and significant shareholder in the public/private company. ‘We are very anxious to have Telstra become part of this NBN rollout and we are negotiating with them at the highest levels right now,’ said Campbell. It has not been revealed what level of stake Telstra may take in the company, although it is known that it will be no greater than 49%, as this is the maximum allowed under the terms set by the government in the creation of the company. It is expected that, with other parties also interested in taking a stake in NBN Co, including Telstra’s main rival Optus, the upper limit Telstra is likely to obtain is between 25% and 30%.
Despite the ongoing talks, however, the executive did note that the NBN Co was not looking to rely on Telstra for the rollout of the national fibre-optic infrastructure as part of any talks, adding ‘I don’t think we would use them for the build itself. We would do that independent of Telstra, but we do want them to adopt the network and use it as if it was their own and to eventually migrate their customers onto it.’