Labor’s promise to build a fiber to the node network danced around the elephant in the room: what Telstra was going to think of giving up its effective monopoly over the “last mile” from the exchange to people’s homes.
The first is that the Government can forget any idea that Telstra will enter into any form of joint venture or public private partnership in exchange for getting taxpayer funding, even $4.7 billion worth, to build a network…
Not only that, Trujillo is arguing that it is happy to pay for the whole investment itself, just as long as it can charge its competitors and its customers what it believes is reasonable. Graeme Samuel remains in place as the devil incarnate at the ACCC.
History suggests that Telstra’s idea of reasonable charges is to gouge its retail customers, and price wholesale access such that resellers are priced out of the market.
Perhaps Telstra’s continued intransigence might prompt the new government to do what the previous government should have done ages ago – split Telstra up into at least two separate companies, the monopoly infrastructure owner, and the retail business.