Telstra urges Gov't to fast-track NBN first

Telstra says no infrastructure is more crucial to Australia's future than the NBN, therefore it should be given the highest priority.

The Federal Government has pledged to fast-track infrastructure building, and Telstra [ASX: TLS] wants it to start with the National Broadband Network [NBN].

Responding to comments Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made yesterday at the Council of Australian Governments meeting in Perth, Telstra's new managing director of communications, David Quilty, said no other infrastructure is more important to Australia's future.

"The National Broadband Network is crucial for Australia's future economic productivity and it must be fast-tracked or the nation risks falling behind at a critical economic juncture," he said.

Quilty believes Rudd's announcement is good news for Telstra, as he is confident the company will be offered the NBN tender when the deadline for bids closes on November 26.

"The reality is that Telstra is the only company that has the network; the financial capability; the proven record... [and] the technical capacity to build Australia's single most important infrastructure project," he said.

Members of the Terria consortium would disagree.

The group has insisted that its NBN proposal, which involves building an open network which all carriers have equal access to, is more equitable than Telstra's, despite Telstra's insistence to the contrary.

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