"Optus stands ready to build a national FTTN network, to do so in a joint venture with the federal Government, and to make it an open access network with the regulatory safeguards the Government has rightly said it requires," Mr O'Sullivan said.
Mr O'Sullivan was responding to comments from Telstra Chief Executive Sol Trujillo, who yesterday said Telstra would never agree to the Government's model and it was a 'kumbaya, holding hands' theory, as it 'makes managing your business too hard'1.
Mr Trujillo also said that Telstra would only build a FTTN network if it were permitted to get a double-digit rate of return on the investment2.
"Mr Trujillo wants to hold Australia to ransom. He wants us to believe that the only way to get a FTTN network is on Telstra's terms - a Telstra monopoly charging very high prices.
"But there is an alternative - which is likely to offer customers broadband prices well below those likely under the Telstra plan.
"Optus and the G9 group of competitive telecommunications companies plan an extensive national build - and our business plan does not assume the excessive rates of return which Telstra demands.
"The incoming Government has said that it will hold a competitive selection process to determine which company builds the network.
"Optus and the G9 will be a bidder in that process.
"So, when Mr Trujillo says that Communications Minister Senator Conroy should ask the rest of the industry to show that they have the finances, the people and the plans - that is exactly what we plan to do by participating in the Government's competitive selection process.
"Australia has one chance to make the right decision on a new national broadband network.
"That's why it's so important to choose carefully - rather than just taking the bad deal that Telstra is offering," Mr O'Sullivan said.
Optus Corporate Affairs
Tel: (02) 8082 9021
1 J Hewett, The Australian, 7 December 2007 Page 1
2 J Hogan, The Age, 7 December 2007 Page 3