As expected, the Opposition has slammed the Government's moves to require Telstra to seperate into two different operating companies. Opposition broadband spokesman Nick Minchin says the Government's moves are "radical" and "risky" and will disadvantage investors.

Minchin who oversaw the sale of Telstra during the Howard government era said "I think what the Government may well be doing is using the fiction of its $43 billion National Broadband Network proposal to force change on Telstra," he said.

"Instead of holding a gun to the head of Telstra, destroying shareholder value, threatening shareholders, customers and employees, it should sit down and work through co-operatively with David Thodey and the new management team at Telstra."

If Telstra does not voluntarily restructure the organisation the Government will legislate the split and also force Telstra to sell off its cable network and 50 per cent share in Foxtel.

Earlier today, Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull used Question Time to ask Prime Minister Kevin Rudd how the $43 billion proposal will deliver value for money.

"How many subscribers will it have and what will they be asked to pay?" he said.

"How can Australians have confidence in the Government's capacity to deliver value for money when it is willing to spend $43 billion of taxpayers' money without even a business plan?"

Mr Rudd dismissed Mr Turnbull's questions, accusing the Opposition of failure in its Telecommunications polcies. "The reason the Government took the extraordinary step of saying that we would build a National Broadband Network is that we have seen 12 years of conspicuous failure on broadband on the part of those opposite"

A news article from the ABC


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