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Optus Chairman: Break Telstra Up

Optus Chairman: Break Telstra UpAs reported by Fairfax Media, O’Sullivan wants regulations introduced to split Telstra in the same manner as UK telco British Telecom (BT), stating the Coalition’s version of the NBN is likely to see Telstra’s copper lines play a much larger role than it would have under Labor’s fibre-optic version.

Telstra and NBN Co are currently negotiating an $11 billion deal to help build the NBN.

O’Sullivan made the comments at a Trans-Tasman Business Circle lunch in Sydney, claiming payments Telstra is set to receive could damage competition.

“Sadly, what I’m saying is a very inconvenient truth – it’s something that doesn’t get a lot of airing and we’ve got to ask ourselves why,” Fairfax reported O’Sullivan as stating.  

“Governments feel themselves under enormous pressure to provide the incentives to Telstra to play along, regardless of what political party those governments are from.  

“And in the process, the consequences for competition, the consequences for the modernity and the efficiency of services that you’re going to receive for the next decade, plays second fiddle to the urgency of being able to get a rollout underway and announced.”

Telstra, however, stated the issue has already been covered.

Telstra regulatory affairs executive director Jane Van Beelen stated the issue has been debated in a number of forums.

“We remain committed to structural separation and a new future for our industry where competition, investment and innovation can flourish free from endless unproductive debates over regulation,” Fairfax reported Van Beelen as stating.