As the Australian government and incumbent phone company Telstra continue to search for a peaceful way to jointly work on the Next Generation Broadband Network (NBN), the country's communications minister, Stephen Conroy, pointed out that they could "absolutely" build their network without Telstra.
"The government started from the basis that it can build it without Telstra," Conroy said in a Wall Street Journal article. "It would be faster to build, and cheaper to build if there is an agreement with Telstra. But the government started out on the basis that we are prepared to build it without Telstra."
This latest statement once again illustrates the contentious relationship between the government and the former government-run service provider. Conroy has previously said that the government might just go its own way, but analysts believe Telstra would still be a good partner to build the NBN.
Although Conroy would not reveal the worth of Telstra's network assets, a series of documents were mistakenly released by the government last October showing that the network assets could be worth anywhere from as low as $7.3 billion to as high as $36.5 billion. At this point, the government and Telstra continue to discuss how they can work together on the NBN.
- Wall Street Journal has this article
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