BRISBANE: Addressing the Queensland University of Technology Business Leaders' Forum, Fairfax Media ceo David Kirk launched a stinging attack on Telstra, Australia's dominant telco, accusing its internet services of being "fraudband" rather than broadband.

Kirk expressed concern that high cost and low speed was hampering the take-up of broadband internet. "Fraudband - that's the best way to describe it," he inveighed.

He blamed the problem on domination of the nation's telecoms market by former state telecoms monopoly, now privatized as Telstra. "I think it's . . . about market structure and regulation rather than technology or government policy," Kirk continued.

"We've reached a situation where very few people can have access to any sort of broadband that will allow them to download a movie in less than twelve hours. So it's just not enough."

The problem is not exclusive to Australia, Kirk said. "All around the world you do see where there is a very incumbent telecommunications provider and not a lot of competition ... that broadband take-up is slow, broadband pricing is high."

Data sourced from Sydney Morning Herald; additional content by WARC staff