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COMMENT: “ABT” Push Set To Hurt Telstra As Their NBN Ambitions Evaporate

Telstra whose executives appear to be more interested in their pay packets are now having to battle a new fast spreading problem called “ABT”.

No more so than when it comes to the concept of Telstra owning and running the National Broadband Network.

The ‘Anyone But Telstra” problem is set to hurt the future plans of Telstra CEO Andy Penn, whose PR hacks are desperately trying to shield him from a mountain of negative PR after he moved to sack 8,000 employees, while getting his Chairman John Mullen to spruik Penn’s $4.3M salary at the recent AGM Vs spelling out where Telstra revenues are going to come from in the future.

Telstra chairman John Mullen along with Penn are convinced that Telstra should be the natural owner of the NBN and above all they should get it for a bargain price.

This is Australia’s most complained about Telco and as Alan Kohler writing in the Australian said Aaaargh! Noooo!

“Telstra is not the natural owner of the NBN and shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near it” he said.

Why would the long-suffering taxpayers and internet users of this country go through years of mind-numbing chaos and cost for the purpose of splitting up Telstra’s network monopoly, and then write off goodness knows how many billions of dollars, before giving a brand-new monopoly network back to Telstra for a bargain? Kohler wrote.

We all know that Penn is a questionable CEO and that some are already calling for him to quite.

His war cry is not about fixing Telstra’s dreadful customer service and network failure but 5G and “InfraCo” which is the operation he was hoping to hive the NBN into before the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission came out last week and dented the boards plans to try and get the NBN on the cheap.

The natural owners of the NBN are not Telstra but Australia’s super funds wrote Kohler.

They have the money and the ability to put together an independent team of executives many who I am sure would quit Telstra to take up a role in the new entity.

As Kohler wrote in the Australian ‘If you couldn’t get a monopoly like that to throw off $5bn a year in cash, especially once television is being delivered entirely over the internet, then you are not trying’.

Last week Penn tried to devalue the NBN by calling for a $20 a connection cut in the price of a wholesale connection to the national network.

As for the threat of 5G, which Penn at this stage is banking on to hurt the NBN Kohler said “While 5G could be used as part of the NBN’s fixed wireless ­offering, it’s unlikely to entirely ­replace fibre to the node, kerb or premise. That’s because the signal doesn’t go very far from the tower — 200-300 metres only — and apparently doesn’t go through trees or anything else, so a huge and complex build is required”.

5G is set to be rolled out by Optus and a combined Vodafone TPG resulting in Telstra set to face immediate 5G marketing pressure, especially as they are seen as a Telco who is struggling to deliver a quality network and have a reputation for poor customer service.

While 4G delivered Telstra a network advantage, 5G won’t and here lies Penn’s dilemma.

Some say the task will become too hard and Penn will simply quick.

As for Telstra work unions, they claim the “sooner the better”.

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