Is the Telstra submission a joke?

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Is the Telstra submission a joke?

Broadband minister Stephen Conroy is talking tough that his government is ‘not going to be pushed around’ by Telstra on the issue of further concessions for the NBN build.

In a second day of what Conroy is calling ‘competitive tension’, the Senator faced a barrage of questions from reporters over Telstra’s apparently non-compliant bid – including “Is the Telstra submission a joke?” and “Is Telstra calling the shots?”

“Absolutely not,” Conroy said on the latter.

“Let's be clear - Telstra have been demanding concessions, as have others, as part of this process, and the government said, we're having a fair, open and competitive process. We're not going to be pushed around on this.

He continued: “Is it any surprise that any of the bidders might say, give us more government money, and we might be able to reach your objectives?

“These are hard-nosed, commercial negotiators, and this will be a tough, hard-nosed negotiation between [them and] the expert panel, and there's some very tough, hard-nosed commercial people on the expert panel [as well],” Conroy promised.

Conroy also reversed an earlier ambiguous statement on the 98 percent coverage objective, now claiming the government would not bend on the issue.

“Our plan is to deliver fibre to the node to 98 per cent of the population, and we have a five year timeframe for that,” said Conroy.
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