Australian Communications Minister to impose separation framework on Telstra

Telstra has been warned voluntarily to separate its wholesale and retail arms or be prevented from acquiring new wireless broadband spectrum.If the company does not agree to structural separation, the Government will use new laws to break up Telstra and force it to sell off its cable network and 50 per cent stake in Foxtel.Communications Minister Stephen Conroy announced the dramatic reforms today as the government prepares to roll out its $43 billion broadband network.To read this report in The Australian in full, see:
www.theaustralian.news.com.au/business/story/0,28124,26076001-5018020,00.html
Also see:Telstra reform to bring more services at lower prices
A structural separation of Telstra’s wholesale and retail arms will deliver a greater range of services at cheaper prices.Competitive Carriers Coalition head David Forman said the legislation would “level the playing field” and pointed to the explosion of services and price-drops in the UK when the British government forced a similar separation of BT.The Australian government told Telstra today to voluntarily separate its wholesale and retail arms, or be prevented from acquiring an expanded wireless broadband spectrum.
www.theaustralian.news.com.au/business/story/0,28124,26076744-643,00.htmlStephen Conroy’s radical reform of Telstra and telecoms industry
Access to spectrum was the rabbit Communications Minister Stephen Conroy pulled from his hat to force Telstra’s hand on structural separation.Conroy’s tactics are unusual in that he has opened negotiations by swinging a big stick and, in effect, starting with his best punches, which doesn’t leave either side much room to move.
www.theaustralian.news.com.au/business/story/0,28124,26076403-30538,00.htmlSeparation of power: Stephen Conroy wants a Telstra carve-up
Federal telco tsar Stephen Conroy is exhorting Telstra to separate its wholesale and retail operations “voluntarily”, which in this case is like the army major “volunteering” a hapless private to dig out the latrines.If Telstra doesn’t “volunteer” an acceptable regime, it will be prevented – most involuntarily – from acquiring any additional broadband wireless spectrum and from keeping its 50 per cent stake in Foxtel (a handy asset to say the least).
www.theaustralian.news.com.au/business/story/0,28124,26076290-23634,00.htmlTelstra: a juicy carrot in Conroy’s back pocket
The Government has this morning taken a big step towards securing the goal it has craved – a broadband network with Telstra on board.The moment it took the sword to Telstra was always going to be ugly, but it had to happen.
www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/telstra-a-juicy-carrot-in-conroys-back-pocket-20090915-fot8.htmlReforms pave way for Telstra break-up
Telstra is set for its biggest shake-up since privatisation under Federal Government plans that will pave the way for a break-up of the telco and introduce new hard-line consumer safeguards.Communications Minister Senator Stephen Conroy this morning announced the company would need to structurally separate voluntarily – and if not the Government would force a split under a new regulatory regime.
www.smh.com.au/business/reforms-pave-way-for-telstra-breakup-20090915-fof0.html
www.theage.com.au/business/reforms-pave-way-for-telstra-breakup-20090915-fof0.htmlReforms unnecessary, create uncertainty: Thodey
Telstra chief executive David Thodey is disappointed with planned federal government reforms of the telecoms industry and says many aspects of the legislation are unnecessary.Communications Minister Stephen Conroy on today announced the reforms, which pave the way for separation of Telstra’s wholesale and retail operations and the implementation of the government’s high speed national broadband network initiative.
www.smh.com.au/business/reforms-unnecessary-create-uncertainty-thodey-20090915-forx.htmlRivals, consumers applaud Telstra break-up plan
Consumer groups and competitors have rejoiced at the Federal Government’s decision to force a structural break-up of Telstra, while the telecommunications giant’s stock languished.This morning Telecommunications Minister Stephen Conroy said the reforms, including new performance benchmarks, would be aimed at carving up the company with the goal of generating more competition and consumer benefits.
www.smh.com.au/business/rivals-consumers-applaud-telstra-breakup-plan-20090915-fomh.html
www.theage.com.au/business/rivals-consumers-applaud-telstra-breakup-plan-20090915-fomh.htmlTelstra will just have to wear it
The Government’s agenda on the reform of telecommunications was always going to be about structural separation for Telstra. It had been well flagged and the ongoing negotiation between Telstra and Communications Minister Senator Stephen Conroy contained the model as the starting point.Those in the stock market that sold Telstra’s shares off today had been simply holding on hope and selling on fact.
www.smh.com.au/business/telstra-will-just-have-to-wear-it-20090915-fou4.html
www.theage.com.au/business/telstra-will-just-have-to-wear-it-20090915-fou4.htmlNow for something different: Telstra ripped off
Just because Sol Trujillo has departed, it doesn’t mean Australia is without a telecommunications bully capable of flying off the handle and needlessly trashing relationships without due regard to a more reasonable culture of negotiation and consensus-building.Stepping up to take Trujillo’s title as chief head-kicker is one Senator Stephen Conroy. And there’s a good chance that he’d take that description as a compliment.
www.smh.com.au/business/now-for-something-different-telstra-ripped-off-20090915-fote.html
www.theage.com.au/business/now-for-something-different-telstra-ripped-off-20090915-fote.html

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