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Telstra and TPG Issue Stark Warning Against NBN Co Roll-Out

Telco giants Telstra and TPG have warned a boost by NBN Co into the regional business market will see the government-owned company waste millions by doubling up on fibre networks already in the ground.

NBN Co announced this week over a million businesses outside of CBD areas would be eligible for free fibre installed on their premises as part of a $700 million push.

The package will bring also bring free upgrades to businesses operating within the designated 240 “business fibre zones”.

In particular, the plan will threaten Telstra’s grip on the regional business market and the company criticised the move, saying the money would be better spent on upgrading existing NBN connection in homes.

“We look forward to seeing more detail, however, it is important this investment doesn’t lead to the inefficient duplication or overbuilding of existing infrastructure,” a Telstra spokesman commented.

“We also look forward to hearing more about the upgrade path of NBN Co’s existing technology for residential premises, as that will require substantial investment over the next 10 years.”

TPG also slammed the move and said NBN should focus on cost-cutting for businesses overlooked by other players in the market.

“It is critical that NBN does not overbuild or displace private investments which would have been delivered more efficiently by a competitive market,” the TPG spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, Optus welcomed the news and praised the upgrade as a “positive” move.

“This is a positive initiative from the government that targets investment to areas of the market that are less well-served by competition,” Paul Sheridan, Optus Head of Regulatory Affairs, said.

“It will also provide a much-needed incentive for small and medium-sized businesses to improve their digital capabilities and infrastructure. Optus looks forward to partnering with NBN Co to make this happen.”

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