Singtel Optus labelled ‘sub-prime’ bidder over $8bn funding gap

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Singtel Optus labelled ‘sub-prime’ bidder over $8bn funding gap

Telstra has labelled the bid of its bitter NBN rival Singtel Optus as ‘sub-prime’, because the source of $8 billion of its funding is still unclear.

The incumbent has also awarded itself apparent martyrdom by claiming to be ‘the only serious builder of the NBN’.

In a statement made by Telstra's public policy & communications group managing director, David Quilty, Telstra claimed that its rival ‘must come clean’ on the source of funding for its $15 billion NBN proposal.

Singtel Optus has indicated in ASX filings that it intends to put up between $1 and $2 billion directly, but this leaves an $8 billion funding hole, according to Quilty.

“Australia cannot afford a sub-prime NBN funded with dodgy or non-existent money and left in the hands of those who always promise big but never deliver,” said Quilty.

“Every day Singtel Optus refuses to say how its NBN proposal is being funded, the more it looks like the sub-prime NBN bidder.”

The attack appears to be the latest part of a coordinated plan to discredit Optus in the market.

Telstra last week jumped on reports of latency and speed issues on Optus’ 3G network, launching an advertising campaign that ‘warns’ consumers of mobile broadband networks that fail to meet their expectations.

It highlights ‘how some consumers suffer when they use inferior competitor mobile networks which have fewer transmission towers, deliver slower speeds and operate using less optimal radio frequencies’, the telco said in a statement.

The ads are said to finish with a new Telstra tag line: If your network's letting you down, try the network that works better in more places.

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