The National Broadband Network (NBN) rollout may be postponed after the ACCC voiced objections to the proposal dealing with the split of Telstra.One issue is the restrictions placed on Telstra that prevents them from selling their Next G Wireless capability up against the NBN.
A major issue for the ACCC is an agreement that will prevent Telstra from actively promoting wireless services as an alternative to the NBN network – a measure critics claim is an attempt to stifle competition and prop up the NBN business model.
Smarthouse identified this issue back in June when the NBN contract with Telstra was announced.
However the ACCC has said the plan could not go ahead unless important changes were made.
The SMH report the news caused Telstra shares to drop 3 per cent, to $2.98.
The news was a surprise to Telstra, whose shareholders are expected to vote on the separation plan on October 18th. A company spokesperson said the documents would be reviewed as soon as possible.
Fund manager Theo Maas, of Arnhem Investment Management, believed the watchdog’s comments will simply delay the reform as the main concerns were over Telstra’s transitioning from its fixed-line assets to its new network.
“The concern still lies on the road towards the national broadband network,” he said. “With NBN being a 10-year process, Telstra will have reasonable power to disadvantage competitors from access to their old copper network during the roll-out period.
“All in all, it won’t stop the process but delay it slightly. Telstra’s shareholder vote, too, may be delayed but Telstra could still go with it on schedule even before ACCC approval, if its negotiations with the regulator are close to finalising.”