Thodey adds $500m AAPT feather to cap

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Thodey adds $500m AAPT feather to cap

Commercial outcome a win for both parties.

Telstra chief David Thodey's reputation for negotiation has stepped up a notch after striking a commercial deal with AAPT worth around $500 million each year.

AAPT said today it had renewed whole-of-business arrangements with Telstra Wholesale and struck a separate wholesale deal on commercial line rental.

Speaking to iTnews, AAPT chief Paul Broad praised Thodey's focus on "working collectively and striking commercial deals".

"Traditionally we renegotiated access pricing every year but we didn't make much of a song and dance about it," Broad said.

"We've had a very strong response from Telstra Wholesale. It was still a tough negotiation but I think this is the start of the reform in the market that people have been talking about."

"Sol [Trujillo] had a myopic view that striking wholesale deals would somehow disadvantage Telstra's own retail business. David [Thodey] is much more traditional and sees the value in operational leverage."

Broad said AAPT would continue its "deep relationship" with selling traditional voice services in Australia.

"While voice is declining it's still a powerful product," Broad said.

"Getting the right [access] price, being competitive and not having to move to a ‘naked' product offering was particularly important to us."

Broad said access pricing was fundamental to AAPT's growth plans.

He confirmed the telco had its sights set on extending its unlimited ADSL2+ products. It would also focus on driving revenue from its mid-band Ethernet product and by becoming a
"carrier's carrier" to new market entrants.

Telstra Wholesale's group managing director Paul Geason said the agreenment demonstrated "that Telstra Wholesale is eager and willing to work with its customers to achieve commercial results for all parties."

The agreement came a week after the Federal Court sided with the competition watchdog and 14 ISPs against Telstra in a dispute over access prices on the telco's copper network.

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