Tuesday, 25 June 2013

NBN: Telstra wins, no matter what.

This question arrived in my inbox. I thought it might be worth sharing:
The impact of the NBN/election on the TLS (Telstra) share price..
Alan Kohler is fairly positive in this article in May, are you aware of discussion on this angle?
Thanks for the link. Yes, I saw that article, even if I don't agree.
Kohler got convinced of the "better than the nothing we were offering in 2005, 2007, 2010" point of view.

This is the Coalition pitch, don't be fooled it's otherwise:
For 10% less in build savings and more than that  in-out-of-pocket expenses to subscibers for only a temporary network (yes they'll throw away 75% of the fixed-lines in 10-15 years and we will have to pay for all the work avoided now, but with more degraded and poorer Telstra pits, pipes and ducts, in need of full replacement):
  • the Coalition Plan is to break the "universal access, guaranteed speeds" part of "broadband"
  • AND destroy NBN Co profitability
    • by preventing planned growth in ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) from access rate creep and revenue dominated by high-end download volumes
  • WHILE giving us 40 to 80-fold access rates with massive congestion and unusable latency...
Telstra share-price didn't change when Turnbull released the Coalition plan, neither has it fallen back or slowed its rise. This is information on the collective view of 'The Market'.

Telstra has somewhat locked in contracts, but is racing ahead with NBN Co work to crystallise  as much of the contract, as quickly as possible, because the contract pays them when they declare a pit 'OK to go'.

Telstra are very good at optimising their cash-flow and returns.

Telstra win in every scenario, which is why I think the market is supporting them:

  • All Fibre NBN:
    • Telstra have largest backhaul, lowest cost structure & dump deadweight of copper CAN maint, leverage high free cash-flow from NBN Co payments. Concentrates on 4G mobile & dominating that space.
  • DSL NBN:
    • Telstra might yet own all the nodes (with NBN Co leasing access), still dump deadweight of copper CAN, make more money leasing copper. Concentrates on 4G mobile & taking customers off DSL. Paid for by NBN Co contracts.
  • NBN Co fails because of DSL/FTTN:
    • TLS Concentrates on 4G mobile & sends NBN Co broke.
    • As largest creditor, can purchase them for what its owed. Then has monopoly on CAN (Customer Access Network) again.
    • Can charge what it likes and is able to defeat ACCC demands: doesn't have to build an inch of new network, can only rollout "cost-effective" fibre. I.e. most profitable and force everyone else onto their 4G network, then decommission DSL + copper phone as "unprofitable" or force ACCC to allow massive price hikes, making their 4G cheapest, most viable solution.

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