Telstra calls separation a 'fool's gold' debate

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Telstra calls separation a 'fool's gold' debate

Telstra has used Senator Stephen Conroy's announcement of the closing date for proposals to build the National Broadband Network (NBN) to reiterate the telco’s opposition to separation.

In a statement, Telstra’s GMD for public policy and communications, David Quilty, described NBN as ‘a massive project, bigger than even the Snowy Mountains Scheme, and incredibly complex’.

“The NBN is a major upgrade of Telstra’s existing network,” said Quilty.

"The NBN is urgently required to secure Australia's future economic prosperity and Telstra stands ready to build as long as it is in our shareholders' interest to do so.”

Quilty also used the opportunity to reiterate Telstra's ‘absolute guarantee’ that the NBN would be an open access network.

"Open access means that Telstra's competitors will be able to access the NBN on an equivalent basis as Telstra's own business units,” said Quilty.

"This is a critical promise and we fully expect it to be enshrined in law and to be policed by the ACCC - and we have no difficulty with these protections.”

However, Quilty did say that the ‘guarantee of open access renders obsolete what he called 'the 'fool's gold' debate around separation‘. 

“Separation increases costs and kills off investment and it has not worked anywhere in the world,” added Quilty.

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