Is there any future for Telstra at all?


I couldn’t help but get the impression that these negotiations, whichever way they come out, give every sign of being Telstra’s “last hurrah” as a relevancy in Australian communications.

Read the full story by Exetel CEO John Linton on his blog


    • Seconded really. NBN Co goes ahead and builds their network, gives consumers a choice, consumers opt for cheaper, better option, Telstra fails, happiness ensues.

      The idea that we somehow need to protect Telstra as a business is beyond ludicrous. The only reason they exist is because we, the taxpayer, paid for all the copper wire in the ground that they own. I cannot see them building a second, national fibre network to compete with the NBN. That doesn’t make any sense at all.

      If they want to use the NBN, they should be charged the same amount as everyone else, not given some special dispensation because they think they’re special.

      Hopefully, this is Telstra’s “last hurrah”. I, for one, will gladly see them burn and be held accountable for their selfish, in-their-own-interest-only practices.

      • I agree that we don’t need to protect Telstra as a business — but certainly the Govt is taking the opposite path at the moment — that of forcibly breaking up Telstra. I prefer a path in between the two :)

  1. LOL.. wow.. this guys is ridiculous!

    sounds like a small ISP whining. How about he grow some balls and compete head on ala TPG, iiNet and Internode. Smack talk from them may be justified but not this loony.

  2. The only path between the two is to build two separate networks and see which one customers choose. If that happens, and the pricing for the NBN is reasonable, bye-bye Telstra anyway.

    What NBN Co should do is give Telstra the option of either keeping their customers on their existing copper network and charge them only to access the back-haul; allow Telstra to use the NBN just as they would any other wholesale customer; or create some bizarre regulation where Telstra have to offer both their own and an NBN connection to customers and allow them to choose.

    Telstra should have been separated when the Howard government initially sold it off – so Conroy’s attempts to do that now are, in my view, reconciling that error.

    Let the government build a network, let them provide cheap, wholesale access to ISPs and telcos then let them all compete. As long as the actual fibre itself remains government owned (or, ideally, by an autonomous statutory authority) then I don’t see a problem.

    But, we’ve had this argument before ;)

    (Side note: How the hell are people getting their own pictures instead of that blue power button thing?)

    • The comments system uses Gravatar — set it up for your email at, then use that same email when you post a comment on Delimiter, and voila! :)

      I think the current thinking is that the copper network is going to be replaced with fibre, not that the two will run side by side. This is unfortunate, as it would give Australians a low-cost broadband option that has the potential to gradually sink in cost over the years.

      However, the problem is that this will obviously cannibalise NBN revenues — not a problem for end users, but a problem for govt if they want to continue to claim that the NBN will be eventually making money for shareholders etc.

      I don’t know what the solution is, but I do think it is hard to treat Telstra the same as the other ISPs, when it’s so obviously a special case. Ideally for end users, IMHO, it should be left alone (IE not split up) to compete with the NBN and the ISPs. This would create a market with many retail players and two large wholesale players, differentiated by technology, and, I assume, price.

      In my view, creating the NBN removes the need for Telstra to be separated.

      Leaving Telstra this way also created a competitor to the NBN to keep NBN Co honest, which is always a good thing.

      However, I don’t think many people are thinking this way atm. Instead, we will likely end up with a situation where much of Telstra’s assets are vended into the NBN, the wholesale arm is split off into a separate ASX-listed company, and the whole of Telstra is even more highly regulated.

      • Ahh…Gravatar…Got it sorted now. Cheers. Anyway, back to the matter at hand:

        “…the NBN will be eventually making money for shareholders etc.” – This brings to my other point. The NBN shouldn’t be sold once it’s set up and operating. Although it won’t be completely the same as Telstra, the government is still placing a critical piece of national infrastructure in the hands of the private sector. That immediately shifts its focus from maximising service to maximising profit.

        The problem is that infrastructure projects, generally, don’t have the fantastic R.O.I. that a private company needs to want to invest the money in them (properly). The better solution, in my opinion, is to keep them public, but autonomously run, while charging a reasonable rate for wholesale access so that the network can be maintained and improved.

        Because, if the network isn’t maintained and improved, it’s only going to become an complete waste of money that’ll cost us more later to fix than if we do it right the first time through.

          • The incentive would be that improving the network would form a core part of their charter. That and physically maintaining the cables in the ground would be its sole reason for existence. Look at the ABC, what incentive is there for them to constantly push the boundaries and explore new areas in broadcasting?

            I feel that selling the controlling body off will leave regional and remote Australia in a similar position to what they’re in now. Private company won’t invest in the required infrastructure because it doesn’t provide the ROI that their shareholders want.

            Access to a utility shouldn’t come only if it pleases a companies bottom line.

Comments are closed.