Show us your Telstra deal, Optus tells NBN Co


The nation’s number two telco Optus today said it wanted to see the detail of Telstra’s $11 billion deal with the National Broadband Network Company, so it could ensure its customers would be treated no different by the fledgling fibre monopoly than those of Telstra.

Asked directly to comment on the news released by Telstra this morning that the company had reached agreement on key commercial terms with NBN Co, Optus CEO Paul O’ Sullivan told journalists in a briefing this afternoon that he would like to know the details of the agreement, noting transparency should be a key factor of the NBN rollout.

“We would like to see all the details of the contract between Telstra and the Government,” said O’Sullivan, adding there was a huge amount of money spent on the project and that everything should be done to preserve competition in the market, so that Optus customers would be treated as Telstra’s.

Optus director of government and corporate affairs Maha Krishnapillai said his company welcomed the news that Telstra had reached commercial terms with NBN Co, but would not comment until all aspects of the agreement were made clear. However he maintained transparency needed to be a key factor at this stage. “It is imperative that we have full transparency of the agreements to ensure that no compromises are made that will provide Telstra with an unfair market advantage,” he said.

Moreover, Krishnapillai said the NBN bills currently before parliament were a crucial piece of legislation, concluding Optus had proposed some specific and targeted amendments to strengthen the legislation and to ensure greater transparency for a review of discounting provisions by the national competition regulator.

“That will provide the appropriate checks and balances and regulatory arrangements for the NBN as it rolls out,“ he said. “For example, it will guarantee the wholesale-only nature of the network and ensure that we avoid the sort of conflicts we have today, where the dominant wholesale provider is the leading retail provider.”

Going back to the half-year financial results, O’Sullivan said Optus was experiencing a sustainable and profitable expansion, confirming ongoing growth for four years in a row. He said regardless of intense competition in the Australian mobile market, Optus added 150,000 new post-paid mobile customers in the last quarter.

The chief executive acknowledged Optus took advantage of some Vodafone’s coverage issues, but maintained the company built on its organic growth. “We are focused on our own strategy; we are not about reacting to the behavior of the competitor on a day-to-day basis, and today’s results show that that focus and discipline around an ongoing strategy is paying off,” he said.

In Australia, Optus’ operational earnings grew five per cent year-on-year, while revenue grew to $2.38 billion, driven by incessant mobile growth and increasing profitability. In fact, the mobile business revenue increased by 7 per cent, to $1.56 billion, which is the same ratio at which the number of 3G subscribers grew, reaching 4.8 million. These figures include the acquisition of another 92,000 wireless broadband subscribers in the last quarter.

“This was achieved through differentiated mobile offerings, a continued focus on customer experience, and enhanced network coverage which now reaches 97 per cent of the Australian population for both voice and data, “ O’ Sullivan said.

Image credit: Optus


  1. Hypocrisy of optus per usual everyone else is a monopoly except them, even though they are allowed to operate as a whole sale and retail company. Not split up , they are allowed to block competitors on their network

    • To be honest I think Optus has lost a lot of leadership over the past 18 months. It’s like they have been asleep at the wheel — while iiNet and TPG — and even Telstra, with Next G — have been making hay while the sun shines.

      • Particularly in mobiles- their original stronghold. They simply haven’t kept any momentum in improvements in coverage OR speeds. In sydney its still woeful.

      • Agree complete with that.

        If the structural separation and breakup of Telstra had happened ten – (or even five) – years ago, Optus would be sitting pretty to make a huge move towards market leadership.

        They might not have gotten to Telstra-size, but they haven’t exactly done a lot of innovation/expansion in the last few years. With rumours that SingTel would sell Optus for the right price, head office don’t appear to have super high hopes for them going forward.

        As for seeing the Telstra / NBN deal – why should Optus get their hands on a commercial in confidence document, before the document has been finalised?

        Reeks of “awwww, cmon guys, can we play in the sandpit too? Guys? Guyyyyyyys?”

        Optus will be just as interested in dealing with the NBN, and they are looking for advantage – unfortunately for them, Telstra – (given it’s mass) – was always going to come first in any NBN deal.

        • If we go back a few years, I remember attending Optus press conferences and speeches often, where the company would lay out its vision for the future of telecommunications in Australia. Right now, however, that leadership is simply not there.

  2. Optus as always looking for a free ride on Telstra’s back. What have they ever done to help the bush.
    They are just a cherry picker that will be out lawed by a government that hates any competition. Lets see this unfair government close down their HFC network. Bully them as it has done with Telstra.

  3. Are these Optus guys for real or are they in dream world. For years they have been parasitical spongers on Telstra and now when Telstra is being broken-up to create a level playing field they demand Telstra’s confidental business information. Optus go talk to Conroy as Telstra did, but I doubt he will be interested in what you have to offer.

    • Sydney your disgraceful 2005 NWAT like, greedy comments are sad.

      And what makes them even sadder is that Telstra them self, now don’t even carry on with this “imported rubbish” from a management team, who had NFI…

      If you do not understand that Telstra were vested the PSTN (which they have made $bs from) with clear access clauses for others to HIRE not sponge from, then you are a misguided and/or dishonest human being!

  4. Optus is in a spot. They can’t build a broadband net to rival the nbn otherwise the government can charge then a levy, making it an unviable decision. The nbn now has critical mass with telstra on board.
    As to optus customners they will be treated the same but optus the company won’t. It is now there turn to suck it up. But don’t worry their government looks after it’s national telephony company better than the australian government does, so they souldn’t complain. BUT THEY WILL !

  5. Gd you have a good grasp of the situation. Telstra opponents are now in a tight spot as their plaintive cries of “foul play by the monopoly monster (Telstra) will no longer be possible with the split of Telstra.

    Their next devious plan will be to demand that Telstra not be allowed to spend heavily to advantage the Australian consumer as that would be unfair to them as they do not have the financial muscle of Telstra.

    Best they face reality and learn to compete on the level playing field something they have called for for a decade. They have rough seas ahead as Telstra fires up so they had better batten down the hatches.

    • If this is so Sydney, why did you (as Telstra’s #2 unofficial spokesman) fight tooth and nail to stop the NBN?

  6. RS how cruel you are, # 2 indeed. Seriously though RS we (yes even you RS) have had several changes of thoughts on the NBN and I think that is a healthy situation. The world does change and as changes occur our attitude must change also.

    To be fair I have never said that the NBN was not a desirable application but did question if it could be delivered for a cheaper price. It now seems that it will become a reality, the decried Telstra monopoly will disappear, and serious competition will begin.

  7. There is no cruelness, it is fact!

    It is you who lies and has done so since purchasing TLS shares and seeing them drop. FFS you still talk about leeches/parasites…!!!!

    More BS (as usual) too Sydney, I have had NO changes of thoughts…

    Put up or shut up by naming even one?


  8. RS time precludes me from listing your vast and numerous about faces and changes of mind and the fact that I would wear out three keyboards in its composition and presentation is an added deterrent to my attempting this exceptionally large and time consuming task. Suffice to ask why you are so fanatically focused and violently hostile to any Australian who have the good fortune to be a part owner of that great Australian company, Telstra?

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