Telstra urges peak spectrum price

Govt urged not to lower price of unsold spectrum in second auction.

Telstra Corp Ltd is pressuring the federal government to avoid discounting the price it hopes to achieve in a second attempt to sell a block of wireless spectrum that went unsold in a previous auction, according to The Australian.

In the first auction in May, Telstra paid $1.3 billion for a block of spectrum, while Optus paid $649 million for a block of spectrum half the size of Telstra's purchase.

However, 700 megahertz went unsold, and former communications minister Stephen Conroy issued draft directions in June for the Australian Communications and Media Authority to decide by September 1 on a fresh plan to sell the spectrum.

Mr Conroy said access charges should be at the same levels as the previous auction, where the block went unsold, and Telstra has backed-up Mr Conroy's directive, arguing the second auction price should not undercut spectrum sold in the first auction.

In a submission to the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Telstra argued that the federal government must ensure that the second attempt to sell the 700MHz of spectrum that went unsold in the first auction does not result in a reduced price that the company argues would “disadvantage” companies, like Telstra, that purchased spectrum in the first auction.

“Assurance about this matter is important for the confidence of the industry as it continues to invest in mobile networks, so that millions of Australian consumers and businesses can continue to enjoy the benefits of having access to the latest mobile broadband technology and services,” Telstra executive director of corporate affairs Jane van Beelan said in the submission, according to The Australian.

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