Feeds

Telstra shareholders pass deal with Oz government

Vote defuses NBN “ticking package”

High performance access to file storage

Telstra shareholders have, with some quibbles from the floor, approved the proposed $AU11 billion deal between the carrier, the government, and NBN Co.

Under the deal, some aspects of which which are still being mulled by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Telstra will receive $AU11 billion at net present value, in exchange for withdrawing services on its copper network as the fibre is rolled out, and migrating its customers connections to the NBN.

The arrangement also means NBN Co will be able to rent space in Telstra ducts for its fibre network – an arrangement widely misunderstood as representing “Telstra selling its network”.

Telstra CEO David Thodey told the meeting that many of the changes Telstra will experience were inevitable anyway: fixed network revenues are declining, as is the value of the copper network.

“The NBN will accelerate our need to migrate to this new world,” he said. “Our strategy is … to build intelligent networks, differentiated content, focus on applications, and introduce new tariff structures,” he told the annual general meeting.

Proxy votes alone were sufficient to carry the vote, at more than 99 percent, which represented more than 50 percent of the total shareholding.

The vote reduces by one the potential political headaches associated with the network: had shareholders rejected the deal, NBN Co would have found itself with a more expensive rollout, competing against Telstra’s incumbency. Telstra, on the other hand, would have been dragged into a capex war on a national scale.

The remaining hurdle for the deal – and for the structural separation of the telco – is regulatory approval by the ACCC. Both Thodey and CFO John Stanhope reiterated their belief, and the ACCC’s public statements, that the regulatory concerns can be addressed without a serious impact on the deal.

However, Stanhope promised a new shareholder vote should it be required.

At times, the AGM appeared to be treated as a political platform by shareholders, carrying such a consistent brief against the government as to make questions from the floor sound like a morning on right-wing talkback radio. Apparent political plants included the assertion that Australia is “a dictatorship”, that the government has given the NBN a “blank cheque”, and trying to maintain the myth that Telstra is selling its network to the NBN. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.