A trove of leaked classified government documents have revealed how the government originally planned to attract investors and eventually privatise the National Broadband Network.
The revelations come as part of a series of documents published by ABC on Wednesday that were discovered in a locked filing cabinet sold at a government auction.
Some documents date back to 2009, predating the then-Labor government's decision to build the national network on its own.
One document revealed that Telstra was originally going to be offered a position in exchange for investment that would allow it to "participate in decision-making in relation to operations of NBN Co including… where rollout occurs and [the] phasing of the rollout."
The document focuses mostly on how the government expected Telstra and other telcos to approach NBN Co with investment arrangements prior to a fully privatised model.
The government expected there to be many early approaches by "a range of investors, including Telstra", but would hold out until it could negotiate on its own terms.
Ultimately, the expectation was for the NBN to be 51 percent owned by the government and the remainder owned by the private sector, until full privatisation.
The papers also indicate that the government was concerned that investment from Telstra could unduly influence the network's directions, as well as fears that the telco could build its own rival network.
Another document also reveals that the project was initially expected to cost $43 billion and includes a plan to finance its construction until it is completed in 2017.