Telstra today launched a scathing PR attack on competitor Terria, saying the consortium seeks a guaranteed monopoly with its submission for the National Broadband Network.
Terria, a group of telcos including Optus, AAPT and Macquarie Telecom, detailed the group’s plans yesterday.
"Our proposition to the government is that no party be allowed to expand the network and operate in competition to the national broadband network," the group’s bid manager Michael Simmons told The Australian.
Telstra’s David Quilty, a group managing director at the company, seized on Simmons’ comments, saying Terria is “hypocritical” and “a monopolist hiding in the shadows”.
"For months Terria has been claiming that Telstra wants a monopoly and that Terria is committed to competition. Today Mr Simmons has revealed that Terria's bid relies on the government granting it a guaranteed monopoly," Quilty said.
Quilty also took the opportunity to contrast Terria’s position with Telstra’s.
"In addition to our strong commitment to open access, we welcome and encourage infrastructure competition because of the benefits it brings to customers,” Quilty said.
He also claimed that such a monopoly would make Australia a global laughing-stock.
"Providing one company with a guaranteed monopoly certainly has not been introduced anywhere in the world and if it happened here Australia would be turned into the pariah of global telecommunications,” Quilty said.
Terria is a group of eight major Australian telcos including Optus, Primus Telecom, AAPT, Internode, iiNet, Macquarie Telecom, Soul and TransACT.