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Axia commits to NBN bid

Axia Netmedia has put down in black and white its intention to lodge a bid for the government's $4.7 billion national broadband network.

Axia Netmedia has put down in black and white its intention to lodge a bid for the government's $4.7 billion national broadband network.

(Credit: Axia NetMedia Corporation)

Although it was believed to have paid the $5 million bond and had put together a regulatory submission on the network, until now there was no certainty around whether the Canadian company actually intended on bidding.

However, in a statement accompanying its first quarter results released on Friday (first reported by Communications Day), the company said a bid for the Australian national broadband network was very much on the cards.

"In the second quarter Axia intends to respond to an RFP for a Next Generation Network initiative in Australia," the company said.

Other bidders include Telstra, Terria and Acacia for national bids and TransACT and the Tasmanian government for state bids.

Axia has built a "SuperNet" in the province of Alberta, Canada linking 429 communities to an IP network. It also has 50 per cent involvement in joint venture project called Covage which is building a fibre backbone network from Paris to Montpellier in the south of France.

In Singapore, the OpenNet consortium, which Axia leads with a 30 per cent stake, was selected by the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore to build a fibre-to-the-premise network on 26 September 2008. Axia intends to reply to the IDA's second request for proposals for services running on the fibre.

Axia believed that knowhow gained from meeting the differing requirements of networks in Canada, France and Singapore would able to be applied to the problem of bringing fast broadband to 98 per cent of Australia's population, pointing out especially the range of population densities. "Axia's next generation network solutions are now comprised of low density rural solutions (Alberta), medium density regional solutions (France) and high density metropolitan solutions (Singapore)," the company said.

Yet Axia also admitted it was as vulnerable to financial conditions imposed by the global economic crisis as other bidders have been. "Any solution for Australia will depend upon utilising functional capital markets," the company said. There have been questions about Terria's ability to find the necessary funding for its bid for the national broadband network.

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