Telstra shareholders today voted an overwhelming ‘yes’ to the company’s $11-billion dollar National Broadband Network deal.

It’s a crucial step in the Government setting up the high-speed network.

Amity Neumann reports.


Ninety-nine per cent of shareholders voted to approve the deal with the Federal Government at Telstra’s Annual General Meeting in Sydney today.

The agreement will see the telco surrender its fixed line network and customers to the government-funded NBN Corporation.

As well as getting millions of dollars worth of contracts, Telstra also will gradually decommission its copper-based network.

Telstra says the company is only leasing assets, not selling.

John Stanhope, Telstra CFO: “That’s a very important point. We are leasing our assets and getting a revenue or cash flow stream over a period of 30 plus years, as we allow this access to large volumes of our infrastructure.”

The next phase of the NBN rollout includes 28 new locations across the country.

This will provide another half a million people with high-speed broadband.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard says Wollongong will become the largest regional centre to be connected to the NBN.

She says its the key to modernising Australia’s economy.

Julia Gillard, Prime Minister: “We live in a world of constant change, where our nation always needs to be able to hold its head up in global competition and say that we can win that global competition race.”

The $36 billion project is due to be completed in 2021.

Amity Neumann, QUT news.