A confidential report accidentally tabled by Australian communications minister Stephen Conroy has valued Telstra's extensive copper network at up to A$33 billion ($30.3 billion).
The report, which was written by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and published by the Sydney Morning Herald, gives several potential estimates on the value of the network.
Factoring in depreciation, the network is worth around A$8 billion (€4.9b) net and A$17 billion gross, the report said. But by a different valuation, the network could cost up to A$33 billion (€20.3b) to replace.
The accidental disclosure risks jeopardizing the discussions between the government and the carrier over the National Broadband Network (NBN) project, and leaves Telstra with the option of taking legal action.
A spokesperson for Stephen Conroy confirmed that the information had been published in error, but would not specify which value was being used during the NBN discussions.
The report also contains a treasure trove of information that Telstra rivals can use as ammunition in public debates, such as analysis of Telstra's claims over the cost of providing broadband services to economically unviable areas.
Meanwhile, a senate committee has given the green light to legislation that would force separation on Telstra, recommending the bill be passed without delay.