And the NBN winner is...

And the NBN winner is...

Summary: Next week the government will announce the winning bidder for the build of the National Broadband Network. The announcement is expected when Kevin Rudd returns from the G20 in London.


Next week the government will announce the winning bidder for the build of the National Broadband Network. The announcement is expected when Kevin Rudd returns from the G20 in London.

So who will win? Optus is not too concerned, provided the outcome includes strong regulatory control of Telstra and some legislative change.

With fibre to the node likely to be a significant portion of the new network, the outcome is likely to involve rerouting Telstra's copper network, so it runs from the home to the node, rather than to the exchange. Would Telstra accept such a change lying down? And what about all of the ISPs with DSLAMs in exchanges that will be rendered useless, including Telstra's own ADSL2+ roll-out?

In this week's Twisted Wire Phil Dobbie talks at length to Maha Krishnapillai, director of government and corporate affairs for Optus, about what Optus is expecting from the NBN outcome and what it means for Telstra.

You'll also hear briefly from Telco analyst Paul Budde with his prediction on who will win the bid.

Does it sound like a good outcome? Add your thoughts in the Talkback section at the end of this post.

Topics: NBN, Broadband, Telcos, Optus, Telstra


Phil Dobbie has a wealth of radio and business experience. He started his career in commercial radio in the UK and, since coming to Australia in 1991, has held senior marketing and management roles with Telstra, OzEmail, the British Tourist Authority and other telecommunications, media, travel and advertising businesses.

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  • And the winner is!

    One thing that can be predicted for sure and certain is that the winner will NOT be the Australian consumer!
  • You've missed the obvious...

    The only sensible answer is for the government to announce a fully FTTH network. In one stroke it solves all the tired objections of the industry pundits. It is future proof. And most importantly it will out compete anything Telstra has to offer.
  • Sensible not obvious

    I agree its sensible but doesn't seem to be what Maha was alluding to in the Optus bid. Also, the commitment was to 98% of Australian homes. FTTP would be an expensive proposition, but it's possible.
  • FttH the only long-term solution

    Fibre to the Home is the only way to put the matter to bed once and for all. The government will have to decide whether it wants this battle now or in five years' time. Is this a government with vision or not? We'll know next week.
  • FTTP would be expensive

    Dont comment on what you dont know. FTTP would not be an expensive proposition. It is cheaper to deploy and maintain than FTTN. The only additional cost is the civil works required and if Telstra block access to the last 500-1000m from the node (subloop unbundling) what else does FTTN proposal have available - build the civils.

    The assumption with FTTN is you get access to the existing copper and therefore do not need new civils. The reality is FTTN will require a huge amount of civils to build the fibre to the node which will pass many homes.

    FTTP will cost only $12-15b for 85-90% coverage, about the same as FTTN.
  • Hear Hear

    I agree and I wish someone in government would hop to it.
  • Give me Copper any day

    Having survived the Canberra fires with homes burning all around, my FTTN phone service was off the air immeadiately, as was mobile coverage.. the only comms available was dear old copper for phone and broadband.. I feel safer with CTTE err Copper To The Exchange. Please leave my ADSL2+ alone...
  • Time will reveal all.

    A nice new FTTH system would be nice but who would pay for it I don't know.

    Without customers, because charges would have to be enormous, it would become a gigantic white elephant.

    Telstra will compete, and maintain their customers who will have no reason to change to the new network.
  • agreed on FTTH

    but currently who in australia needs gigabit speeds for their home?! Fibre to the node, if done correctly, will put in the backbone for FttH to come later when hologram phone calls and all kinds of futuristic crap needs the bandwith, but gigabit speeds right now, the avg computers we have cant even process that internally yet (sata's limit of 320Mbps im reffering to), the impatient bandwith lovers like ourselves will have to wait until such a requirement is the norm not the absurd
  • The real cost

    I can't see why it should be much more expensive than FTTN Sydney. What is stopping a provider running their cables from their pits up Telstra conduits through the front yard of homes, aside from Telstra's opposition to their conduits being invaded? The conduit is 25mm and Telstra's two-pair copper wire could fit inside it ten times.

    I have a relative that worked for Skilled Engineering when they had the contract to install new pits for Bigpond/Foxtel cable and roll out the coax from the pits to customer's homes. This involved little more than running the coax alongside the telephone cable in most cases.
  • Information Superhighway = another bloody joke in the making

    Being a Sydney-sider who has observed our NSW pollies allow expert advisors bully them into 4 lane motorways and tunnels I will not be surprised with another myopic solution cfrom their federal clones.
    Just get on with the FTTH and stop this wasted opportunity. The only winners will be the global Vendors. We love replacing networks every decade :)
  • FTTH is very expensive

    How many nodes are there in the country? 40,000 or so? As opposed to about 11 million households?

    Running FTTH would be hugely expensive. Running the fibre past the home is not the issue. Running it INTO the home and providing an optical termination would cost a fortune.

    Just imagine - 11 million home visits by technicians, as opposed to 40,000 truck rolls.

    All those people wanting FTTH - put your money where your mouth is. Write a business case, find investors, secure the capital, and away you go.

    Oh? You mean you won't make any money if you did that?

    There's your answer.