Optus will soon retire a portion of its network services and hand-over some of its existing client-base to NBN Co in exchange for a deal with the federal government that could leave the telco $800 million richer.
According to the Australian Associated Press (AAP), the agreement is part of the $36-billion national broadband network roll out initiated by the national government, which is set to deliver fast broadband access to Australians across the nation.
An earlier deal by NBN Co with Telstra Corporation, worth $11 billion, has been approved this year by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC), which is also expected to give its nod to the Optus arrangement.
The contract involves the transfer of specific numbers of Optus customers to the NBN system and the dismantling of the company's networks in areas that would be covered by the national broadband roll out.
The ACCC, the AAP wrote, has taken the view that the deal was mutually beneficial for contracting parties.
On Optus' part, the company will eliminate future expansion expenditures as some of its existing service areas will come under the NBN realm, with the savings it would realise to be used on the uplift of its remaining coverage areas, the competition watchdog said.
In a statement, Optus chief executive Paul O'Sullivan confirmed that the company will have more resources to further improve its services.
Mr O'Sullivan lauded the government regulator for its impending approval of the deal.
"ACCC approval will pave the way for a genuine win-win deal, freeing up resources that can be used more effectively to open up retail competition on a single advanced network that covers the country," the Optus chief said.
Also, concerns for a diminished competition in an NBN-dominated telecommunication industry have been duly addressed within the NBN regulatory framework, the ACCC said.
Most of all, the regulator noted, Aussies who depend on easy and fast access to the internet would benefit most in the national broadband implementation, the consumer watchdog, as they will be given wide-array of options coming from the NBN Co, major telco and regional providers.
Though hit by delays and glitches, the Gillard government has envisioned the completion of NBN's full roll out within the decade but it could be scrapped in the event the Coalition wins the general elections scheduled next year.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has vowed to repeal the laws supporting the NBN as he deemed the project a waste of taxpayers' money.
The promised breakneck net speed that the NBN will deliver, Mr Abbott said, will not be of practical importance to the average Australian.
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