Defence moves on security ahead of Optus, SingTel talks

The Department of Defence has signed an agreement with Cable & Wireless Optus and potential new parent Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) in a bid to protect Australia's defence communications.

Security concerns have been raised about SingTel's possible acquisition of Optus due to Optus' $500 million C1 satellite joint venture with the Federal Government.

The satellite, due for launch next year, will be used for highly sensitive Australian Defence Force communications.

SingTel is currently awaiting approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) on its takeover proposal and extended its $17.2 billion bid for a month.

The agreement between Defence, Optus and SingTel will only come into place if and when the takeover occurs.

Measures included in the document include compartmented operations, protection of sensitive information, step-in powers and guarantees of performance backed by substantial company capitalisation.

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More about Australian Defence ForceCable & WirelessDepartment of DefenceForeign Investment Review BoardOptusSingapore TelecommunicationsSingtel

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