Communications Minister Stephen Conroy this afternoon confirmed Telstra had been kicked out of the National Broadband Network bidding process, but that all the other bidders were still in contention.
"The government's NBN process has always been bigger than Telstra," Conroy said.
"The request for proposals (RFP) was specifically designed to give proponents flexibility in preparing their proposals, and there are very few mandatory requirements," Conroy said in a statement, noting Telstra did not submit a small to medium enterprise participation plan as the others — Acacia, Axia, Optus, TransACT and the Tasmanian Government — had all done.
The minister said there were four other mandatory requirements:
- That proposals be written in English
- That Australian legal units of measurement were used
- That proposals include a complete and signed proponent's declaration
- And that proposals for more than one state or territory must include a proposal for all states and territories
The government's NBN process has always been bigger than Telstra.
"There was nothing to stop Telstra from submitting a complete proposal and competing vigorously with other proponents in this process," Conroy said, claiming the RFP was a level playing field. "However, the Telstra board sought special treatment by proposing its own process."
"Telstra had more than enough time and resources to fully understand what was required of proponents in this process," the minister added. "Telstra's Board will have to explain to its shareholders why it has decided to sideline itself from a process that will shape the Australian communications sector for the next decade."