That was the intention of the 1997 legislation but consumers did not benefit as the reforms were half-hearted and regulators were ill-equipped for the task,'' he said.
End of an empire
The Government's announcement didn't spell the end of Telstra, just the end of an empire, said Mr Terlich.
Mr Terlich likened the separation of Telstra with the regulatory break up of the Australia Securities Exchange, which the Government unveiled weeks ago.
In the business of sharetrading and listings ''the Government wants the marketplace to be more competitive, but the ASX will likely remain a dominant player,'' even after the oversight duties are handed to the Australian Securities and Investments Commissions.
Telstra has a foothold in nearly every part of the telecommunications market, he said.
''It will still be very strong going forward,'' Mr Terlich said. ''But not the empire we've known it to be over the last 20 years.''
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