Telstra to miss deadline on NBN vote

Dylan Bushell-Embling
21 Mar 2011

Australia's Telstra will miss its self-imposed July deadline for the shareholder vote on its separation and participation in the NBN project.

In a market update, the incumbent operator said that while it was making progress on negotiations with the government, statutory timeframes meant it would be unable to hold a shareholder meeting to vote on a proposal on July 1.

The state-owned company set up to conduct the NBN fiber rollout, NBN Co, acknowledged Telstra's announcement but said negotiations are progressing well.

“A definitive agreement between Telstra and NBN Co will be good for Telstra, good for NBN Co and good for the country,” NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley said. “It is therefore worth taking the time to get the right outcome.”

While the delay isn't expected to affect first release sites, Quigley said that the timing of the Telstra deal is being factored in to the timeline of stage two rollouts.

Telstra investors are increasingly pressuring the operator to provide more details on the nature of the agreement – which would see Telstra separate its wholesale and retail operations, allow NBN Co to use its copper ducts and infrastructure and progressively transfer traffic to the NBN.

In return, Telstra will get A$14 billion ($13.94 billion) in compensation.

Now facing a five month wait, shareholders have renewed calls for a more thorough disclosure, theAustralianreported.

A deal has been delayed already – Telstra and NBN Co were originally scheduled to finalize agreements by the end of December.

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