Telstra to give copper, HFC network to NBN Co at no extra cost

By Supratim Adhikari

According to Mr Coughlan, the state of the infrastructure that NBN Co stands to own has been a crucial sticking point. “On the copper, Telstra has been reluctant to take on the liability for reparation,” he said. “If Telstra had ended up leasing the copper to NBN Co, it would still have had accountability on the state of the network.

While critics had insisted that taxpayers would have to pay Telstra extra money to get control of the copper, the Telstra report indicates that the telco isn’t looking to make any extra money from the sale of the assets.

Telstra said on Thursday that it had signed a non-binding heads of agreement with NBN Co as part of its ongoing renegotiations, with the annual report stating that the telco is not expected to get “any incremental value” from handing over its assets.

Telstra’s stellar full-year results have also delivered a welcome piece of news for the Coalition government and NBN Co, with the telco to hand ownership of its copper and the hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) networks to NBN Co for no extra money.

According to telco analyst Chris Coughlan, Telstra’s latest comments are a win for the Coalition government but there are some unknown variable still in play. “This certainly vindicates Turnbull’s position but the devil’s in the detail,” Mr Coughlan said.

By giving the copper away Telstra may have engineered a solution that allows it to surmount that hurdle and potentially derive extra revenue from the NBN process.

Read more here: Business Spectator


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