Telco's take aim at Coalition NBN plan

AN ALLIANCE of telecommunications carriers has lashed out at the Coalition's broadband policy, saying any alternative policy involving the continued use of the Telstra pay TV cable network would be "doomed to fail".

AN ALLIANCE of telecommunications carriers has lashed out at the Coalition's broadband policy, saying any alternative policy involving the continued use of the Telstra pay TV cable network would be "doomed to fail".

The Competitive Carriers' Coalition attacked the Coalition's alternative broadband rollout plan after opposition communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull said that he would not prioritise areas covered by Telstra's existing HFC - or TV cable - if elected.

"These comments ignore the reality that such a proposal would mean that for 30 per cent of the population there would be no effective competitive broadband market," chairman of the alliance Matt Healy said.

The carriers such as Vodafone and iiNet are worried about the prospect of having to deal with Telstra over the network access issue, which has been a long-standing issue between Telstra and its smaller rivals.

But Mr Turnbull denied that the Coalition would continue to use Telstra's HFC network indefinitely.

"I did not say we would never overbuild the Telstra HFC areas and our plans assume that in due course the NBN would be extended into them," said Mr Turnbull.

He hit back at the carriers and said their goal of replacing Telstra's network with a government-owned wholesale carrier was "reasonable" but they must be mindful of taxpayers' money.

The cable can carry data faster than what is available over copper lines. But it is unclear if Telstra would have to give competitors access to the cable under the Coalition's proposal or could keep its monopoly.

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