Telstra ends NBN Co standoff
Australia's Telstra has finalized the terms of its A$11 billion (€8.8 billion) agreement to separate and participate in the National Broadband Network project.
Telstra, the government and NBN Co have settled on definitive agreements for the Australian’s incumbent’s co-operation in the NBN, after nearly three years of negotiations.
The telco agreed in 2010 to structurally separate its wholesale and retail operations, and progressively migrate its fixed-line customers onto the NBN as the wholesale fiber network is built out. Telstra will also open its extensive network of ducts and pipes to NBN Co as customers are moved off the copper lines, and eventually decommission its copper network while retaining its HFC network.
But negotiations surrounding the specifics of the deal have been protracted, with the deadline delayed multiple times. Sticking points included issues such as points of interconnect and NBN pricing.
Regulator ACMA had also repeatedly expressed concerns about Telstra's structural separation undertaking (SSU), requiring the operator to revise the document multiple times. But ACMA finally approved the latest version of the SSU late last month.
Also last month, Telstra came in for criticism after announcing broadband plans that will force all early adopters of its NBN offerings to also pay for a bundled copper line for voice calls. Critics accuse Telstra of trying to squeeze maximum value from the copper network while it is still operational, and slammed the operator for having far higher prices than competing retail operators using the NBN.