Telstra separation decision to wait at least 60 days

Government's push to split Telstra's wholesale and retail arms will have to wait until the Senate sits again in 2010

The Federal Government's push to split Telstra's wholesale and retail arms will have to wait until the Senate sits again next year, after the lengthy debate over the emissions trading scheme (ETS).

Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, has said he wanted the legislation passed by the end of the year but with the ETS and Liberal party shake up overshadowing the rest of the agenda, he will have to wait until February 2 when both houses of parliament resume.

The news provides some relief to Telstra CEO, David Thodey, who along with several key shareholders wanted to delay the bill and opposed the separation outright.

(View the slideshow of Telstra's Top 10 Greatest Hits).

The Government's moves are seen as key to much of its National Broadband Network (article words) plan, with NBN Co negotiating with Telstra over its network assets.

Despite the often vehement opposition of Telstra and its shareholders over the move, others, particularly rival telco players, have suggested the separation is a necessary evil to improve competition in the industry.

Some telco analysts have also said the future of a separated Telstra (ASX:TLS) is rosy,, one even suggesting it is the deal of the decade.

Regardless of which side you take, the decision on Telstra's future will have to wait for at least another 60 days. And that's a long time in both politics and business.

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