Telstra, Australia’s largest telecommunication company, announced its intention to withdraw from building a A$4 billion (US$3.1 billion) high-speed broadband network.

The decision to abandon the plan came after its recently installed CEO, Sol Trujillo had clashed with regulators, citing a difference in views. The firm walked away saying no consensus could be reached on what would constitute a reasonable return and costs.

The collapse of the talks was disappointing said the Communications Minister Helen Coonan.

Telstra's attitude was “anti-competitive” and the company wanted to “re-monopolise” the new network, she said, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Australia already lags behind countries such as South Korea in terms of broadband connections. It is currently ranked 17th in broadband connections according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. The government will now pin its hopes for a high-speed network on a smaller consortium led by Telstra’s rivals.