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.”