Perth-based ISP iiNet managing director Michael Malone today called on the federal government and the ACCC for greater consultation with industry on Australia's broadband future.Responding to comments in Wednesday's media that the Government is considering secret deals with Telstra that would triple broadband prices, Malone said that political expediency was poor justification for bad policy.Media reports suggesting that the government had completed private negotiations to bolster Telstra's monopoly ambitions had triggered a response tinged with surprise."The reports suggest that in order to make a commercial return, Telstra needs to charge $80 to $90 a month for a service that we currently sell at $30," said Mr Malone."If the government abandons 10 years of policy, the only winner will be Telstra", he said. "This will just mean higher prices, less choice and bad service again. That's a big step backwards for Australia.""What's missing from the current debate, with any of the three major political parties - Labor, Liberal or Telstra - is an open, transparent process. All parties have declared how important this issue is to Australians and we agree!That is why we need a serious and open consultation process.""If this is so important to all Australians, then why is only one participant being included in the decision making process?"
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