Malcolm Turnbull’s Loose Ends

This week CrossTalk looks further into the Coalition’s alternate NBN plan and asks, what if Telstra doesn’t play ball?

It’s the multi-billion dollar question that the alternate NBN plan relies on. If Telstra doesn’t want to include it’s copper in a renegotiated deal, the coalition won’t be able to use it in a fibre to the node network design. Independent MP Rob Oakeshott suggests that the response from the Liberal Party has shades of Sir Joe Bjelke Peterson – “don’t you worry about that!”

Brendan Coady has been at the negotiating table against Telstra on many occasions and says they go hard in the relentless pursuit of value for their shareholders. He doesn’t see any alteration to the existing agreement with NBNCo happening quickly.

Then there’s the question of structural separation. Currently the split of Telstra is handled by the handover of customers to the NBN. If the coalition allows Telstra to retail it’s HFC networks isn’t there a need for the separation question to be revisited?

That’s not to say the plan isn’t workable – it just needs a lot of work. But as you’ll hear in this week’s program there are a few loopholes in the current plan too.

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