The Australian Government Communications Minister Stephen Conroy in a surprise announced today that Telstra, Australia’s largest telecommunications company, must "voluntarily separate its wholesale and retail arms it will be prevented from acquiring new wireless broadband spectrum,” says The Australian.
“Telstra is one of the most highly integrated telecommunications companies in the world across the fixed-line copper, cable and mobile platforms,” said Minister Conroy in the press release concerning the break-up. The break-up, he says, will also promote competition and strengthen consumer safeguards.
“These fundamental reforms address the long-standing inadequacies of the existing telecommunications regulatory regime. They will drive lower prices, better quality and more innovative services," Minister Conroy said.
Telstra’s rivals hailed the move.
Telstra’s stock dropped about 4% after the announcement.
Minister Conroy did not indicate whether he thought the decision would help him better “boil the ocean,” which seems still one of his objectives.
Robert N. Charette is a Contributing Editor to IEEE Spectrum and an acknowledged international authority on information technology and systems risk management. A self-described “risk ecologist,” he is interested in the intersections of business, political, technological, and societal risks. Charette is an award-winning author of multiple books and numerous articles on the subjects of risk management, project and program management, innovation, and entrepreneurship. A Life Senior Member of the IEEE, Charette was a recipient of the IEEE Computer Society’s Golden Core Award in 2008.