Optus, the Singapore owned telecommunication Company that was dumped by the Federal Government earlier this year in the ‘Opel’ broadband saga, has been accused of lying by Telstra following major problems with their network in Queensland.
They have also indicated that the foreign owned network is not capable of operating a national broadband network that is under consideration by the Federal Government.
Geoff Booth the Group Managing Director, Telstra Country Wide, and David Quilty the incoming Group Managing Director Public Policy and Communications have both hit out at the actions of Optus following the recent outage in Queensland that left thousands of people on the Gold Coast without communication.
“Optus must apologise to the Queensland public for grossly misleading them about the cause of its massive network failure last month” they both claimed.
“When it occurred, Optus’ spokesman claimed it was a “one in a million” circumstance, giving Queenslanders the false impression it could never happen again.
“Now Optus has been forced to let the cat out of the bag, announcing it needs to build a whole new back-up fibre optic link to try and bring its network up to a reliable standard.
“This shows that last month’s state-wide Optus failure was not a “one in a million” situation at all, but the result of a fundamental deficiency in its network capability, redundancy and planning.
“Optus has a tawdry track record of announcing things but not following through, so one must ask whether this additional fibre optic link is just another Optus “gunna”.
“Today, we see in the media that Optus is blaming competition with Telstra for its fundamental failure to invest. What a laughable excuse.
“Optus is owned by Singtel – a Singapore Government-owned company with very deep pockets which chooses to invest around Asia rather than in Australia, despite nearly $8 billion in annual sales in Australia.
“It is time that Optus realised what every other business knows – that competition comes about as a result of investment.
“Despite the deep pockets of Singtel, for years Optus has tried to get away with the absolute minimum levels of investment, relying instead on regulatory free-kicks.
“Optus’ anti-investment strategy is now coming back to haunt it, with its customers voting with their feet.
“This is a critical time when Australia must make a multi-billion investment in a world-class high-speed broadband network. If Optus can’t afford to invest in its existing fibre network in Queensland, how will it afford to build a nationwide high-speed broadband network?
“Optus’ mounting litany of embarrassing failures shows it is not fit to be considered as a builder of such an important network for this country’s future.”