Telstra CEO expects discussions on revised NBN deal to continue until 2015

15 Oct 2014

David Thodey, the chief executive of Australian fixed line incumbent Telstra, has reportedly said he expects the renegotiation of his company’s AUD11 billion (USD 9.94 billion) deal under which it will take part in the National Broadband Network (NBN) project to continue until 2015. According to the Australian Financial Review, despite the Coalition government’s pledge to have an updated agreement finalised by the middle of 2014, Mr Thodey was cited as saying: ‘What we’re trying to find with NBN Co and the government is a staged approach where we can take milestones … We all want to move on but I think the reality is that some things are going to take a little bit longer, maybe beyond Christmas.’ Mr Thodey has, however, suggested that Telstra could look to strike interim agreements to ‘allow NBN Co to build a sizeable fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) network next year’.

It is understood that discussions regarding a revised deal have stalled as a result of three main factors, those being: the question of which party – either Telstra or NBN Co – bears the risks and costs when problems occur; what the technical guidelines are for moving to the Coalition’s proposed multi-technology mix approach; and the obtaining of regulatory approval and certainty on issues including whether alternative operators such as TPG Telecom and other telcos can compete against NBN Co.

Australia, NBN Co, Telstra