The CEO of Optus Paul O Sullivan has described the NBN as a “monopoly”, he has also taken a major swipe at Telstra, while calling for an independent body that has no links to the Federal Government or Telstra to police the network going forward.
He believes that there is an immediate need for “contract” transparency and that one has to assume that the NBN will be built.
He told a packed audience at the Media Connect Conference on the Gold Coast that “The NBN is a monopoly that has to be kept in check.
O’Sullivan claimed that the way payments will be structured where Telstra gets paid as lines are decommissioned from their network needs to undergo an urgent review.
He claims that the Government needs to ensure that this money is not used to gain a market advantage through cross subsidisation and suggested that he would like to see it paid directly to shareholders.
“We’re not asking for any special favours. All we want is for the industry to get a level playing field,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
“what I don’t want to see is Telstra use that money to cross-subsidise customers, acting in an anti-competitive way. If a line is decommissioned and Telstra loses that customer, we don’t want Telstra offering customers say a free TV and free service for a year in order to keep them.”
During his presentation he also took a swipe at Google and EBay claiming that they also were becoming a monopoly when it came to applications and with E Bay online trading.
Ironically he failed to mention Apple when discussing online applications instead he centred his debate on Google. Apple is a major partner of Optus with both iPhones and iPads.
O Sullivan said that Australia was on the edge of its biggest ever transformation and that it was critical that the Federal Government get it right.
In a clear attack of Telstra he said that the Federal Government had to ensure that that the “billions” being given to the national carrier was not going to be used to create a new Telstra monopoly.
He said that while Optus had $9B in revenue share Telstra had 61% and 72% of the profits coming from the communication and broadband markets.
He said that while Australia has some of the “best mobile networks in the world” he did not see wireless as a threat to the NBN. “The speeds of wireless will never be competitive with fibre” he said.
He also had a go at Vodafone claiming that they had been forced to merge with Hutchison 3 and that the Company was “now being punished by their failure to invest in their network”.
More to follow.