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Telstra, Govt Agree On Nbn Roll-out


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Telstra Corporation Ltd chief executive David Thodey has described the self-imposed July 1, 2011 target for a shareholder vote on the telco's participation in the national broadband network (NBN) as ambitious but achievable.

Telstra said on Thursday it had reached in-principle agreement with the Federal Government regarding the telco's participation in the NBN.

Separately, it had finalised key financial terms with the government-funded body charged with building the network, NBN Co, which Mr Thodey described as an important milestone.

'This sets the framework so we can document the definitive agreement,' Mr Thodey told analysts during a briefing on the telco's half year results on Thursday.

'That has taken a lot of hard work to get there.'

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy Senator Conroy told reporters in Canberra that the federal government has welcomed the agreement.

'Today's announcement represents a big step towards bringing affordable high-speed broadband to every home, school, hospital and business in Australia no matter where they are located,' Mr Conroy said on Thursday.

The commercial terms pave the way for a final agreement to allow NBN Co to use Telstra's assets to roll-out the network and for the telco to decommission its copper network.

In June last year, Telstra signed a non-binding heads of agreement in under which the telco would receive $9 billion to lease its existing infrastructure to NBN Co, progressively decommission its copper network and cable broadband service, and migrate customers to NBN Co.

Telstra would also receive $2 billion for costs associated with regulatory reform of the sector.

The company hoped to put a proposal to shareholders by July 1, 2011.

'This is a very ambitious target,' Mr Thodey said.

'However, we thought it was important to put that out there.

'We think this target is achievable.'

Mr Thodey said a vote still depended on the government, NBN Co, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the passage of legislation through parliament.

'There's three legs to this stool,' Mr Thodey said.

'While some of those things are out of our control, we are going to do everything we can because we think it is now time to be clear about our timeframe and then we can move on.'

Mr Thodey also promised more detail on the substance of the proposals once able to do so.

'I want to assure you that as soon as we've just got those agreements tied down we will be sharing that information and so that you can start to look at the substance of those proposals,' Mr Thodey said.

In terms of the company's financial results, Telstra said net profit for the six months to December 31, 2010 came in at $1.194 billion, down 35.6 per cent from the prior corresponding period.

The result was slightly below market forecasts.

Source: http://bigpondnews.com/articles/TopStories/2011/02/10/Telstra_Govt_agree_on_NBN_roll-out_575619.html

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I've waited a long time for this shit to happen, and finally its moving ahead. Can't wait for the high speed broadband network to be built.

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