Conroy defends Telstra's NBN bid

Panel to fight hard-nosed commercial negotiators.

The federal government has defended its acceptance of Telstra's "non-compliant" National Broadband (NBN) proposal and said its expert panel will thrash out the details with the telco.

Telstra outraged many within the telecommunications industry this week after submitting a watery 12 page bid to address the government's strict 18-point criteria for the design and operation of Australia's largest telecommunications network.

Telstra would deploy fibre to the node to 90 percent of Australia, 8 percent short of the government's coverage requirements which it had staunchly enforced.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said the compliance of Telstra's bid will be assessed during the initial expert panel negotiations over the next eight weeks.

“Telstra have indicated that they believe that it's a proposal that can be considered... and the expert panel will now test it against the 18 objectives,” Conroy said.

“[Telstra is] absolutely not [calling the shots], let's be clear. Telstra have been demanding concessions, as have others... we're not going to be pushed around on this, we're not going to deviate from what we've set down,” he said.

“Is it any surprise that any of the bidders might say, give us more government money, and we might be able to reach your objectives? These are hard-nosed, commercial negotiators, and this will be a tough, hard-nosed negotiation between the expert panel, and there's some very tough, hard-nosed commercial people on the expert panel.”

The government received six NBN bids, including national proposals from Telstra, Terria-Optus, Acacia and Axia NetMedia, and state bids from TransACT, and the Tasmanian government. Canadian-based company Axia NetMedia has an equal stake in Singapore's national fibre network which is owned by Optus parent company SingTel.

The members on the expert panel are John Wylie, Lazard Carnegie Wylie CEO; Tony Mitchell, Allphones Chairman; Laureate Professor Rod Tucker, University of Melbourne; Professor Emeritus of Communications, Reg Coutts, University of Adelaide; Tony Shaw, former Australian Communications Authority Chairman and Dr Ken Henry, Treasury Secretary.

Speaking on Telstra's $25 billion costing of the NBN in a previous article, spokesman Jeremy Mitchell said supply of fibre to regional areas would account for the final $15 to $25 billion portion.

“Our estimated price range depends on what you do in regional areas; our initial plan covering Australia's five largest cities cost $5 billion,” Mitchell said.

“The costs rise dramatically in the cities and that last $15 to $25 billion really determines what you can do in those areas.”

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags NBN

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Darren Pauli

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?