Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has announced the appointment of two new board members for NBN Co, one of which is an ex-McKinsey director, bringing the number of ex-McKinsey employees on the board to three.
New appointee Clem Doherty was a director of McKinsey and Company, heading up the Asia Pacific telecommunications, electronics, media and multimedia segment, until 1996. He was also co-leader of the global telecommunications sector and a member of the Asia Pacific board.
Siobhan McKenna and Diane Smith-Gander, who have already been appointed to the board, were both former McKinsey partners. McKinsey has also already been awarded some work for the National Broadband Network, being commissioned with KPMG to carry out the implementation study.
The NBN Co also appointed Christy Boyce, former McKinsey principal consultant, as its head of industry engagement.
Doherty has served on the Australian Government's Higher Education Review Committee, the ABS Australian Statistical Advisory council and the Knowledge Nation Taskforce. He is currently chairman of angel investment company Like Minded Individuals and holds directorships of Swimming Australia, the Centre for Policy Development, The Australian Innovation Research Centre and Network Insight Group.
The other appointee, Terrence Francis, has a banking industry background. He has been the managing director of the Australian arm of Bank of America, the executive director of Deutsche Bank Australia and the vice president of Continental Illinois National Bank.
Francis is a director of the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority, ANZ Specialist Asset Management Limited and ANZ Business Equity Fund Limited, Boom Logistics, and the Northern Victorian Irrigation Modernisation Project, as well as being a member of the University Council at RMIT.
Doherty and Francis "broaden the strong commercial and industry experience" of the board, according to Conroy's office. The additions will bring the number of board members to eight, including executive chair Mike Quigley.
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy also today released draft legislation meant to make it compulsory to hook up greenfields estates with fibre-optic cable. It requires an addition to the Telecommunications Act 1997. The simplified outline of the new Part (20A) says:
If a real estate development project is specified in a legislative instrument made by the minister, a person must not install a line in the project area unless the line is an optical fibre line.
The draft has already been seen by state and territory planning ministers and the government's Stakeholder Reference Group.
Conroy's office said that the Federal Government was working with state and territory governments to see how the legislation will fit with their planning arrangements. It hoped to introduce the legislation by early 2010, to come into effect from 1 July 2010.
"It is counter-productive to have our newest homes and businesses connected with old technology, particularly when it will cost more to retrofit them later," Conroy said in a statement.