The Federal Government’s $4.7 billion national broadband network (NBN) contract will be given to a group of contenders, according to Buddecomm telco analyst and director, Paul Budde.
On the back of the Communications Minister, Senator Conroy’s announcement the NBN contract winner will be revealed next week, Budde predicted that most, if not all, of the contract contenders would be involved in the plan.
“The project is so big, it makes sense to combine the power and the effort of the group rather than select just one of them,” Budde said. “There will be a plan of action and based on that plan the division of the money will be sorted out.”
While Telstra has been excluded from the NBN bid, Budde conceded the telco still has a role to play.
“The outcome of the announcement will include further regulation for Telstra that will indicate what the company has to do going forward, and that will probably be along the lines of an open network or structural separation,” Budde said. “This is necessary in order to make it possible to interconnect Telstra’s existing network and the pending NBN network.
“Telstra might want to fight the Government in court, but eventually they will lose and be forced to join the party.”
Budde hopes that Telstra will join the new network on its own accord.
“Telstra has a network already so it doesn’t make sense to build over it,” Budde said. “Hopefully, there will be negotiations so the NBN can use certain parts of Telstra’s network.”
News reports today claimed Conroy was waiting for the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, to return from his trip abroad before making an announcement on the winner.
Contenders for the NBN contract include Optus, Acacia, Axia NetMedia, TransACT, and the Tasmanian government.