Turnbull looks forward to Telstra deal

The federal opposition has rejected suggestions that Telstra has it over a barrel because it needs the telco's copper wires for its alternative national broadband network.

The coalition released its long-awaited NBN policy last week promising to deliver a scaled down, cheaper version than Labor's $37.4 billion network but without the same internet download speeds.

Labor plans to replace Telstra's copper network with fibre optic cables.

Under the cost-saving coalition plan, fibre broadband cables would be rolled out to the node - a cabinet on a street corner - with Telstra's copper network connecting to the home.

This has raised concerns about how negotiations will play out with a historically hard-nosed Telstra, which is currently being compensated $11 billion for Labor's plan to turn off the copper and to stop offering broadband.

The copper network is also estimated to suck up $1 billion in annual maintenance costs.

"I know that it is in their best interest to support the approach we're taking," opposition communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull told ABC TV on Sunday.

"Our approach is somewhere between neutral and a mild positive for Telstra shareholders.

"Uncertainty, disagreement, tension with government has never been good for Telstra shareholders.

"I am very confident that we'll achieve speedily the slight rearrangements to the agreements we're talking about."

Mr Turnbull said while the coalition would want to renegotiate with Telstra, the telco and its rivals would benefit from being able to compete with the NBN with broadband.

"Labor ... is the only government in the world that is building a new wholly government-owned telecommunications monopoly," Mr Turnbull said.

"Every government I can think of was seeking to bring competition and private ownership into telecomms."

Labor argues that its version is simpler.

Its so-called Rolls Royce NBN plan would also deliver fibre optic connections to 93 per cent of Australian homes at 100 megabits per second by 2021.

The coalition's $20.4 billion plan will give the majority of homes 25 megabits or more (compared to a current average 4.3) by 2016 with only 22 per cent of homes connected to fibre.

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