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Wednesday, 01 June 2022 23:42

Telstra and TPG merger bad for regional Australia, says Optus

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Optus has called on The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to oppose the effective merger of Telstra and TPG’s regional and rural mobile networks.

Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin says the network merger will disadvantage regional Australia through higher prices, worse service, and less resilient communities.

“This arrangement is not in the best interest of Australian communities,” Bayer Rosmarin said. “It massively advantages the incumbent provider and risks creating a regional monopoly reminiscent of the old Telecom days and entrenching the city-country divide.

“Competition is the cornerstone of a strong, vibrant economy. This arrangement will significantly lessen competition and lead to higher prices, poorer services and less communications infrastructure. At a time when Australia needs more communications infrastructure, TPG has already announced it will shut down more than 700 telecommunications towers in major country centres like Tamworth, Gladstone, Shepparton and Whyalla as part of its arrangement with Telstra."

Bayer Rosmarin also said the network merger will negatively impact communities by providing fewer alternatives to rely on during emergencies, making them less resilient. “During the recent bushfires and floods, we have seen time and again just how critical backup networks are,” she said.

“Under the proposed agreement, Telstra will be paid to face less competition and will gain unprecedented control over our scarce national spectrum assets. Arguments from Telstra and TPG that slapping a new logo on top of the Telstra network creates competition won't fool anyone.”

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David M Williams

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. David subsequently worked as a UNIX Systems Manager, Asia-Pacific technical specialist for an international software company, Business Analyst, IT Manager, and other roles. David has been the Chief Information Officer for national public companies since 2007, delivering IT knowledge and business acumen, seeking to transform the industries within which he works. David is also involved in the user group community, the Australian Computer Society technical advisory boards, and education.

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