Monday, 8 April 2013

NBN: Turnbull needs to explain the Coalition role in our "high telecommunications costs"

The Coalition has News Ltd spruiking for it ahead of tomorrow's Great Plan Unveiling.

Turnbull is very clever, but may have hoist himself on his own petard...

In the Daily Telegraph today, he's quoted as saying:
"Australia ranks as one of the most expensive countries in the OECD when it comes to the cost of telecommunications," Mr Turnbull told The Daily Telegraph.
Why is this so, Mr Turnbull? Didn't the Coalition entirely create this situation?
If not the Coalition, was it "The Network Fairy" or "The Market" or "The Evil Boardroom"?

The Coalition had complete control of the Telecommunications Regulation and Competition policy in Australia from 1996-2007, including the sale of Telstra in 3 tranches (that added a bunch of money to the Coalition's Balance Sheet).

The Coalition were the one who chose not to structurally separate Telstra when they had the chance in 2005/6 before the final T3 tranche. They deliberately created a monster in the marketplace, the precise cause for all those high prices: the action of a monopoly private player.

The Coalition were also the ones in 2005 who rejected Trujillo's advice that Telstra was a distressed asset and that the way out was to build a National Broadband Network:
  • Proof is the T3 sale price. T2 fetched $7.40, T3 only $3.60, while $5.20 had been estimated in the budget papers.
    • Did Labor do this? Did Mr Conroy? No. It was entirely the Coalition.
    • Did Sol Trujillo cause the downgrade of Telstra, or make the best of a bad situation?
      • Trujillo knew the problems and solutions, approached the owners of the business directly, at the most senior levels, without pulling any punches and was rebuffed. 
      • The collapse in the share price to $2.60 pre-2011 and its subsequent 70% increase after the NBN SSU agreements is proof positive of the correctness of Trujillo's analysis and solution.
The sale of T3 in 2006 was a deliberate, cynical and perverse low-political act that treated around 300,000 naive investors very, very poorly. That is what the Coalition thinks of the general public, suckers!, and how it will treat them over their latest NBN plan.

Lest we forget.

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