Feeds

Telstra shareholders pass deal with Oz government

Vote defuses NBN “ticking package”

Boost IT visibility and business value

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Govt control? Hah! It's IMPOSSIBLE to have a successful command economy
Even Moore's Law can't help the architects of statism now
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
This'll end well: US govt says car-to-car jibber-jabber will SAVE lives
Department of Transportation starts cogs turning for another wireless comms standard
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
New voting rules leave innocent Brits at risk of SPAM TSUNAMI
Read the paperwork very carefully - or fall victim to marketing shysters
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.