Telstra To Get 49 Percent of NBN – At A Cost

After initially missing out on the NBN, Telstra may now be in the running for a huge stake in the new company that will run the show.

When Telstra was shut out of the previous NBN rollout due to not fulfiling the tender requirements, Optus and the minor players in the broadband market must have been rubbing their hands will glee. That glee was shortlived when Kevin Rudd announced in early April that nobody had won the tender and it was back to the drawing board. The new plan involved selling off 49 percent of the company that was going to roll out the NBN, while the Federal government owned the other 51 percent for five years after the project was completed.

Now it is time for Telstra to be rubbing its hands if a report out of the Australian is to be believed, but there might be a little snag attached.

Federal Communications Ministers Stephen Conroy is believed to be meeting with the new management team from Telstra within the next couple of weeks to discuss the deal. The crux of the matter will be if Telstra is willing to lose the wholesale arm of its operations.

Under the old management of Sol Trujillo this would have been unthinkable, but the more malleable David Thodey might be open to such a suggestion. As The Australian rightly points out, Telstra would still have access to the wholesale network, which would mean it could still keep and compete in that market space.