Fibre to the Node battle heats up

Telstra has been in talks with rivals AAPT and Optus over a possible deal for the Rudd Government’s national broadband network.

Telstra has been in talks with rivals AAPT and Optus over a possible deal for the Rudd Government’s national broadband network. Optus chief Paul O’Sullivan and AAPT chief Paul Broad were in attendance at the meeting.

Meanwhile a number of other companies are preparing to tender for the network, including Singtel and the Macquarie Group; who currently have no telecommunictaions industry equity. This lack of telco equity has not stopped the Macquarie Group from suggesting they will operate a stand alone network offering prices 40% below that of Telstra.

The Macquarie Group bid does not come completely out of left field – three former Telstra execs (Ted Pretty, once Telstra’s No2, one-time Telstra networks chief and industry veteran Ken Benson and Greg Willis, who has run Telstra internet business) are consulting for the Macquarie Group’s bid.

Despite the new threats, Telstra still insists it will not budge from an after-tax return of 18 per cent on its investment. “Telstra’s position today on FTTN, including FTTN prices, is the same as it has always been,” Mr Maiden said.

Bids are due by July 25.

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