The Senate’s approval for the sale of an additional 16.6 percent of Australia’s largest telecommmunications carrier, Telstra, will see approximately AUS$81 million (US$53 million) granted to the improvement of online services.
According to the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Richard Alston, the government will allocate AUS$45 million (US$29 million) from the sale proceeds to assist local government authorities in regional Australia, to provide online access to their own information and services as well as public points of access to advanced telecommunications services such as the Internet.
A further AUS$36 million (US$23 million) will be used to facilitate the provision of Internet access for people in rural or regional areas.
The additional sale is part of a broader telecommunications policy aimed at providing Australia with world class telecommunications in terms of technology, pricing and service to customers. The offer will comprise up to 2.132 billion shares and at current market values, the offer is expected to be worth more than AUS$16 billion (US$10 billion).
The float is expected to occur around October this year.