Thy treacherous, lecherous, villain! Stephen Conroy blasts Telstra’s double crossing after Chief Thodey commended the coalition alternative NBN plan as cheaper (and faster).

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David Thodey (left) flanked by PM Julia Gillard and Stephen Conroy, in happier times.

Broadband Minister Senator Stephen Conroy has lashed out at former government owned Telstra after CEO David Thodey appeared to semi endorse the Opposition’s alternative broadband plan to the NBN, yesterday.

This is despite Telstra being a central player to the new high speed National Broadband Network being rolled out, offering a matrix of services and scoring an $11 billion payout for its copper infrastructure from NBN Co.

An angry Conroy blasted Telstra’s back stabbing on ABC Radio today, as “no surprise” saying the telco thinks Shadow Communications minister Malcolm Turnbull is “their Alan Bond and they’re going to get paid twice” referring to its $11bn payoff by the NBN Co.

“If Telstra and David Thodey want to endorse the opposition’s policy, that will simply reinforce exactly why we’ve broken up the network,” he added.

“So it’s no surprise David Thodey would be saying ‘hey we should be backing the Coalition’s policy’ because Telstra have worked out that (opposition communications spokesman) Malcolm Turnbull is their Alan Bond and they’re going to get paid twice.”

A po-faced Thodey told investors yesterday the Oppostion’s fibre to node solution – an alternative to Labor’s NBN – was “definitely a faster and cheaper deployment.”

“There are different technologies to use; they have pluses and minuses on both sides.”

However, he did suggest there may be “issues” to the Opposition’s plan as “in some areas the copper has been there for a long time,” referring to Telstra’s copper network.

Conroy also sensationally claimed Telstra has been overcharging for an inferior service “for years”

The minister said the telco’s (arguably arrogant) comments on the NBN is the reason it was broken up.

Conroy also said Labor’s policy to break up Telstra’s wholesale and retail arms had to be enforced upon it as Australia’s biggest telco didn’t want to end its tight reign over the industry.

The break up of the Telstra beast is aimed at: “ending Telstra’s monopoly, ending the higher prices and the slower speeds Australia currently gets and saying we’re going to put in a network that will future proof us for the next 30-40 years” he told ABC.


“They didn’t want to do it, they have been making record profits, they have been holding Australia back, they have been charging Australians more than they should for an inferior service for years.”

This criticism also came on the back of comments made by Mr Thodey to Queensland Media Club earlier this week, which indicate Telstra firmly has its eyes on a possible change of Prime Minister and what it could mean to its $11bn payoff – up to $3bn of this it expects in the next 2-3 years :

 “Should there be a change – be it technological or political – we think we’ve got enough safeguards there,” Thodey told Media Club in Brisbane this week. “I’m very confident we have enough protection in our contracts to realise the value we’re talking about.”

And Malcolm Turnbull himself (aka Telstra’s Alan Bond) also waded into the latest NBN row this afternoon, releasing a statement decrying Senator Conroy’s comments on ABC and launched into yet another barrage of criticism about Labor’s NBN plan.

“Senator Stephen Conroy this morning conceded the Labor Government’s $50 billion version of the National Broadband Network will cost more and take longer than the approach proposed by the Coalition. 

“Why then has Labor refused to evaluate any alternatives?  And why has Senator Conroy refused to subject his plan for the NBN to cost-benefit analysis?” demanded Turnbull.

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