Re: Long term implications
I think what you like a lot of other people forget, is that wholesale is a natural monopoly. Just like when Telstra followed Optus down the streets when it came to HFC.
If we take HFC as an example, a street of 50 houses.
If only Optus is in the area with HFC, it means Optus can expect between 0 and 50 people will sign up for it, so there is a good rate of return.
If Telstra however does what they did, and runs down that same street with HFC, the expected take up rate can never really be much more than 0-25 between the 2 of them.
Yes, it is true that everyone could still choose either Telstra or Optus, but it is more likely some will choose 1 and the rest will choose the other.
It becomes less of a return on investment at this point, which is why there is only 1 copper network in Australia which is owned by Telstra, because to have every Telco run a copper network down every street (lets say iiNet, TPG, Telstra, and Optus all decide to run a copper network) they will all have to share a piece of the housing pie for the streets they go down.
Just like Gas, Power, Water, Sewerage, and Roads are a natural monopoly, you don't have 10 different power cables running past your house, each one owned by a seperate company, you have 1 set of power cables owned by 1 company and the rest is all managed by the power meter as to which company you are with (unless you live here in Western Australia, in which case, Western Power is your only option).
Please don't forget that, you CANNOT have more than one wholesale network, it is not cost feasible.