SYDNEY: It's official. Rupert Murdoch is right (as the editors of his 175 worldwide newspaper titles will readily attest). Australian broadband development is "a disgrace".

Who says so? No less a personage than Sol Trujillo, the colorful ceo of the nation's dominant telecoms operator Telstra.

But the "disgrace" is not Telstra's responsibility, of course. It would dearly love to supply deprived Aussies with broadband of the standards enjoyed by nations such as the USA, Canada, Germany and the UK.

Trujillo's accusing finger points straight at the villain of the piece - the government, which has failed to provide the telco with tax relief of sufficient generosity to persuade it to open its corporate piggybank.

"I wholeheartedly agree that high-speed broadband is critical for this nation to be globally competitive," Trujillo told a luncheon of the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday.

"So when you look at . . . global citizens such as Rupert Murdoch, who two weeks ago said access to high-speed broadband was a disgrace [WARC News: 17-Nov-06], and that we're being left behind and will pay for it," quoth Trujillo, "from me, you will find no argument."

Nor, it seems, an increase in broadband investment unless the government - aka the taxpayer - agrees to stump up.

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