update TransACT has decided to pull out of Terria, the consortium bidding against Telstra for the government's $4.7 billion national broadband network, shortly after the departure of two other members AAPT and Soul.
Terria chairman Michael Egan
Terria chairman Michael Egan and TransACT chairman John Mackay said it had become apparent as the bid deadline drew closer that it was in both companies' interests that TransACT pull out.
"This will enable commercial negotiations between TransACT and Terria to be conducted without any conflict of interest, either real or perceived, among our respective directors," the chairmen said in a statement.
TransACT had already ceased its involvement in Terria prior to the announcement according to CEO Ivan Slavich, keeping quiet about the departure because of the gag order associated with the NBN tender. It decided to make a joint statement with Terria today to set the record straight.
The reason for leaving originally had been to focus on its ACT based proposal, according to Slavich, although he still thought that Terria's regulatory opinions, such as those on structural separation, were sound. TransACT will remain Terria's ally in making sure that a properly regulated open access network was built, with the bids to be based on common principles.
The Terria exodus was not due to anything sinister happening behind closed doors, according to Slavich, but was simply a consequence of the deadline looming.
"It's getting closer to the date of submission and that's when you need firmer commitments from companies," he said.
TransACT leaving has meant that Terria now consists of Optus, iiNet, Internode, iPrimus and Macquarie Telecom.