Telstra submits wish-list for National Broadband Network

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Telstra submits wish-list for National Broadband Network

Telstra has provided to the Federal Government a list of ‘regulatory framework’ changes that it says is vital to the successful deployment of the national broadband network (NBN).

The telco giant said new regulation is necessary to undertake a big project like the NBN, and if the Government “continues to regulate for plain old telephone services then we are going to end up with plain old telephone services."

It also said these regulations can serve as a security measure for potential investors who want to ensure their investment will stay safe from regulatory changes.

“Without decisiveness, there is a real risk this thing won't happen. If this network is going to be built, the builder needs up-front certainty that its investment will not be undermined or given away by regulatory changes once a decision to invest is made," Group Managing Director of Telstra Wholesale Kate McKenzie said in a statement.

In its list, Telstra urged the Government to prohibit the network from being split into separate elements provided by different companies, to make sure any potential bidder has an emergency management plan for the network to streamline land agreements for the construction of the network, and to identify and fund all social policy objectives.

Telstra also countered recent calls for separation of its wholesale and consumer branches with commentaries from a few regulatory experts, who claim an integrated network provider is essential to share holder value and consumer benefits.

"The UK model of functional separation, although only implemented thirty months ago, already seems at risk of being overtaken by technological change," said European Commission on NGN regulation advisor Martin Cave in a Telstra-provided statement.

"My knowledge of the Australian debate over separation remedies suggests that there is some misunderstanding of the problems for which separation can be a possible remedy.”

Bidders have until July 25 to submit their NBN proposals to the government.

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