Telstra and the government-backed NBN Co have reached a preliminary agreement on terms for the carrier’s participation in the $30 billion next-gen broadband network rollout.
The two parties have struck a deal on a“preferred model”, which would see a “progressive transition” of Telstra’s copper access network to an FTTP network as part of the NBN, communications minister Stephen Conroy said Friday.
However, the minister said an agreement on the use of Telstra’s ducts and backhaul infrastructure was also needed to enable structural separation of the incumbent.
“While there are many complex issues still to be resolved before any final agreement is reached, I remain optimistic that both parties can find a mutually acceptable outcome,” Conroy said.
Conroy admitted early this month he would have to postpone legislation for the structural separation of Telstra into early 2010.
“While the legislation remains an important reform in its own right, the Government has always said that it also provides a framework within which any agreement with Telstra can be independently evaluated by the ACCC,” he said in a statement.
The government was determined to pass the bill priority early in the New Year, he said.
“Given the commercially sensitive nature of the discussion between NBN Co and Telstra, at this stage the Government will not be commenting further on the negotiations.”