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Malcolm Turnbull on the NBN Telstra/Optus Deals and Beyond

On Sunday afternoon NBNCo CEO Bill Morrow signed revised agreements with Telstra and Optus to make use of their copper and HFC networks. In this week’s CrossTalk Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull describes it as a successful outcome, because NBNCo is paying no-more than was promised in the original deals, but they have the infrastructure to use in the multi-technology approach now adopted for the build of the new (and second-hand) network.

We also look at competition. Malcolm Turnbull talks about how other companies could provide an alternative fixed line solution provided they offered it on a wholesale equivalence basis, paying a cross-subsidy to help offset NBNCo’s expenditure for those outside the fixed line footprint – a cost estimated at $6.70 per month per user.

But he also warns that for many people a wireless alternative will be fast enough. Isn’t that something NBNCo should be worried about? Small cell technology can provide greater throughput and mobile technologies are increasing in speed all the time. Could a cashed-up Telstra start offering a competitive solution, without having to pay the cross-subsidy or provide open access to competitors. Is this now the biggest threat the NBN faces?

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