blog It’s extremely hard to see this as a surprise, given the fact that NBN Co’s previous delay with Telstra was extensively delayed, and given that as late as mid-January the pair had not even begun talking, but the Financial Review reported today that NBN Co’s negotiations with the nation’s largest telco Telstra over access to its copper and HFC cable networks could run up to six months late. Yup. The newspaper reports (we recommend you click here for the full article):
“… the deal’s complexity, disagreements over key points and pending wide-ranging reviews meant that neither side expected a full deal to be done until the final months of 2014 at best, prolonging the uncertainty for six months.”
Now, to be fair to the Coalition Government, NBN Co’s Strategic Review published last year stated that the company anticipated that it would be in a position to begin the transition to the so-called “Optimised Multi-Technology Mix” (which requires access to Telstra’s HFC and copper networks) from calendar year 2015. “As a consequence, the existing Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) rollout in the fixed-line footprint will continue throughout calendar 2014,” the document states.
This means that it isn’t necessarily a huge problem for NBN Co not to have finalised its arrangements with Telstra to get access to its networks until later in 2014. However, any delays that the talks do see will still be damaging for Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, given how much the Minister has complained in the past about the slow nature of Labor’s previous NBN rollout. And it shows that, Labor or Coalition, this is still a massively complex project which Telstra is not willing to get involved with unless it’s on the right terms.
Image credit: Telstra