NBN business tactics rile telco bosses
TPG Telecom executive chair David Teoh has expressed concerns that the company rolling out the National Broadband Network is pursuing business customers.
Mr Teoh yesterday joined the chief executives of Telstra and Vocus in labelling NBN Co’s move a waste of taxpayer funds.
Speaking to shareholders at TPG’s annual meeting, Mr Teoh said the push to roll out fibre to areas already well served by telcos needed to be questioned.
“We do have concerns about NBN’s increasing involvement in the business market in areas where there is already substantial existing fibre, from numerous competitive carriers,” Mr
While TPG’s reputation was built on providing broadband services to consumers, its business offerings were gaining traction in the market, he said.
That provided a hedge against the pressure on its margins because of the NBN, Mr Teoh said.
“Our corporate business has been continuing to grow quietly, especially in terms of product and service quality,” he said.
Mr Teoh said most people “know the TPG brands in the consumer space”.
“But our reputation for service quality is becoming increasingly well regarded in the large corporate and enterprise market, and some successes that we have had since the year-end reinforce our credentials in that space,” he said.
The NBN rollout weighed on TPG’s earnings the past year. Underlying earnings, which exclude “one-offs”, fell $4 million to $818 million during the period, and numbers are expected to come under further pressure this financial year.
Telstra chief Andrew Penn and Vocus chief Kevin Russell have both been openly critical of NBN Co’s intrusion into the business market. According to Mr Russell, NBN Co has deviated from its original remit and is not operating as a wholesale access provider.
“The government needs to issue NBN Co with a new ‘statement of expectations’,” he said.