Telstra board backs privatisation again

Telstra's board of directors have yet again voiced their support for 100 per cent privatisation of the telco provider.

Speaking at the telco's annual general meeting on Friday, David Hoare, Telstra's chairman said "a fully privatised Telstra is the ultimately logical progression.

"A hybrid arrangement, not matter what the percentage, is not a satisfactory position in the long term," he said.

Following the recent Telstra 2 share offer, 49.9 per cent of Telstra is held privately.

Hoare told shareholders that despite Telstra's push into new areas including the internet space, telephony services will remain the telco's core business.

CEO Ziggy Switkowski said Telstra would concentrate on four main growth areas: mobiles and wireless, data, internet, e-commerce and multimedia, wholesale and international activities.

Meanwhile, telecommunications analyst, Paul Budde said full privatisation may not result in additional benefits to customers.

"I have a great reluctance to allow for full privatisation until we can see some improvements in services to rural areas," he saidWhilst admitting a privatised Telstra would be good from an industry point of view, Budde said Telstra's current track record for anti-competitive behaviour and provision of services to rural and remote areas would be a concern.

Despite improving its competitive behaviour in recent months, Budde said Telstra's services to rural areas remain poor.

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