Telstra to guard $11b NBN terms

Telstra remains confident that it will be able to safeguard the value of its $11 billion agreement with the government during formal renegotiations with NBN Co. Speaking at Telstra's annual investor day, its head of corporate affairs, Tony Warren, said the priority in any changes to existing contracts would be shareholders, first and foremost.

Telstra remains confident that it will be able to safeguard the value of its $11 billion agreement with the government during formal renegotiations with NBN Co.

Speaking at Telstra's annual investor day, its head of corporate affairs, Tony Warren, said the priority in any changes to existing contracts would be shareholders, first and foremost.

"We will do this in a way that seeks to protect shareholders' interests all the way through. We did this last time under much more trying circumstances," he said.

Under new chairman Ziggy Switkowski, NBN Co is conducting a 60-day strategic review in which the government's flagged changes to the rollout will be considered.

"We anticipate that the result of these reviews will be a move to a multi-technology solution for the NBN," said Mr Warren.

The Coalition has previously said it will change the NBN from fibre-to- the-premises to fibre-to-the-node, and use Telstra's copper for the "last-mile" connection.

Most important, Mr Warren said, would be the need to vary the existing definitive agreements (DA) to give NBN Co some kind of usage rights over the underlying copper, which Telstra owns.

"We think we need to make the DAs fit for purpose, as that purpose changes, we will need to make those variations," said Mr Warren.

Telstra also announced a reshuffle of management to reflect its strategy of focusing on improving customer advocacy, streamlining operations and expanding into Asia.

Gordon Ballantyne, the former chief customer officer, will lead the telco's retail-facing businesses, including Telstra Consumer and Telstra Business, NBN products, and sales and marketing.

Brendon Riley, the former head of operations, will be the new head of global enterprises and services. Kate McKenzie, formerly the innovation and technology boss, will be chief operations officer.

Telstra said it would focus on new growth opportunities in e-health, cloud solutions and Asia to boost failing profits in legacy business areas such as fixed telephony and Yellow Pages directories.

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