Tel­stra, NBN say deal is on

Townsville Bulletin - - National Snapshot -

TEL­STRA in­sists it still wants to strike an $ 11 bil­lion deal with the com­pany build­ing the na­tional broad­band net­work ( NBN), even though it has de­layed a key share­holder vote. Tel­stra yes­ter­day told the Aus­tralian Se­cu­ri­ties Ex­change it would post­pone an ex­tra­or­di­nary gen­eral meet­ing, orig­i­nally sched­uled for July 1. NBN Co, a gov­ern­ment busi­ness en­ter­prise tasked with rolling out the NBN, wants ac­cess to Tel­stra’s pits, pipes and un­der­ground con­duit cas­ings as it lays out op­ti­cal fi­bres. But Tel­stra said the need to get ap­proval from the Aus­tralian Competition and Con­sumer Com­mis­sion means it is ‘‘ no longer prac­ti­ca­ble’’ to ask share­hold­ers for a vote by July. Still, both par­ties in­sist ne­go­ti­a­tions are pro­gress­ing well. NBN Co chief ex­ec­u­tive Mike Quigley said the de­lay was jus­ti­fied and an even­tual deal would mean less dis­rup­tion to the pub­lic as the $ 36 bil­lion broad­band pro­ject was rolled out.

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