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Telco could delay the NBN timetable as the June deadline for approval approaches fast.Telstra, who are to present shareholders with the NBN deal for approval this June, are at risk of delay as bureaucracy gets in the way, according to analysts Goldman Sachs. 

”In our view, the June deadline is extremely optimistic and the risk of delay is high,” Goldman Sachs analyst Christian Guerra said yesterday.   

Telstra, who are selling their copper fibre network to the NBN in an $11 billion deal, would see them benefit from contracts for the broadband company in return along with the pay off.    

This in turn, will cause further delays to the final go ahead for the broadband network rollout, preventing the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) from rubber stamping the deal.    

‘We believe it is unlikely that the ACCC will be able to approve or reject these undertakings by mid-2011.”   

ACCC commissioner Ed Willett agrees.   

The Competition watchdog have several regulatory duties to undertake after Telstra shareholder approval, if given, including a review of fixed-line pricing, a structural-separation undertaking and migration plan, and a special-access undertaking from NBN Co.

However, they too could be subject to delays of their own, given the huge complexity of the project. 

”We will do what we can, but it’s an important process and we need to take the time we need to take,” ACCC commissioner Ed Willett told the Sydney Morning Herald.  

 

”When we have Telstra’s application to separate, we will take account of all the time-frame factors.”

The structural-separation undertaking and the migration plan can be done in one process, and the special-access undertaking can be done in a different time frame.” 

What this means for Telstra, the $11 billion deal, and the delivery of the broadband network within timetable is still unclear although Telstra CEO David Thodey previously said the future of the communications giant  did not depend on the NBN deal, saying late last year they had contingency plans in place.

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