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telstra rivals confirm they will build fibre netwo

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    This will crucify Telstra:

    Telstra rivals prepare to build fibre network
    Chris Jenkins
    07dec06

    TELSTRA'S broadband rivals will ask the competition watchdog to allow them to combine to invest in a fibre-to-the-node network in the first half of next year, Optus CEO Paul O'Sullivan said yesterday.

    Speaking in Sydney, Mr O'Sullivan said the so-called "Group of Nine" (G9) companies were on track to lodge a special access undertaking with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission early next year, which would govern pricing of the network.
    The G9 group of telcos and internet providers, which includes Optus, Macquarie Telecom, AAPT, iiNet, Internode, Powertel, Primus, Soul and TransACT, is expected to meet several more times before Christmas.

    Macquarie Telecom group executive Maha Krishnapillai said G9 CEOs had also met in recent weeks to discuss the legal framework that would govern the group through its proposed joint-owned company SpeedReach.

    "The next steps for us are about getting the governance processes right and getting an access undertaking acceptable to the ACCC," he said.

    Optus had been steering the process to develop a legal framework around the group, Mr Krishnapillai said.

    The aim of the G9 was to get the whole industry involved and to convince the regulator that the SpeedReach proposal was a genuine industry plan and not an attempt to form a cartel, he said. Talks with the ACCC had gone well.

    Telstra was asked to join the G9 when it was formed in July, but rejected the offer.

    Regulatory and technical specialists had been involved in a meeting with the ACCC last week, Mr O'Sullivan said.

    An Optus spokeswoman declined to provide a specific target date for the planned endeavour.

    Mr O'Sullivan said the pre-T3 detente that had developed between the federal Government and Telstra had now dissolved.

    "With T3 now out of the way, we have seen Telstra come back to the old script," he said, attacking Telstra's claims that it was the only company willing to risk capital to build a national fibre network.


 
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