16 Dec 2013

Chorus confident of broadband delivery

8:47 am on 16 December 2013

Chorus says it can still deliver the ultra-fast broadband and rural broadband initiative effectively despite a $1 billion funding gap by 2020.

The shortfall was confirmed in a final report by Ernst & Young Australia which says a reduction in what the telecommunications company can charge users of its copper broadband network will cost it about $142 million a year.

Chorus chief executive Mark Ratcliffe says it has begun discussions with Crown Fibre Holdings, the government body overseeing the rollout of ultra-fast broadband, and he expects the talks to run into the New Year.

The audit report says the company could reduce the funding gap with cash flow savings and suggests a two year dividend holiday for shareholders.

The Telecommunications Users Association says if that was extended to 2020, it would almost clear the funding gap.