7 Apr 2011

Perceived phone company risk 'puts off investors'

7:54 am on 7 April 2011

Telecom has taken a swipe at the Government, saying the perceived risk of investing in the industry has turned phone companies from the darlings of investors three years ago, to dogs.

Chief executive Paul Reynolds told an industry gathering that Telecom's share price - standing at $2.01 on Wednesday - is the lowest in the world.

Telecom is in talks with Crown Fibre Holdings, along with others, to participate in the Government's ultra-fast broadband plan which, if successful, will result in Telecom splitting into two parts - a network arm and retail arm.

The talks had expected to be completed last month, however Crown Fibre has now given a deadline of the end of June.

Dr Reynolds says the speed is being dictated by the Government, which is negotiating with multiple parties.

The fibre network plan, in which the Government will stump up $1.5 billion, has been criticised by TelstraClear, while some in the indsutry are uneasy about a regulatory holiday for those investing in ultra fast broadband.