Hackett picked for NBN Co board

Hackett picked for NBN Co board

Summary: Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has tapped industry veteran and Internode founder Simon Hackett for the new NBN Co board, along with former NBN Co head of construction Patrick Flannigan and ex-Telstra executive Justin Milne.

TOPICS: NBN, Telcos, Australia

Telecommunications industry veteran, and Internode founder Simon Hackett will join the board of NBN Co, along with ex-Telstra executive Justin Milne and NBN Co's former head of construction Patrick Flannigan, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced.

Turnbull said in the release that the trio were "well-established industry figures with lengthy careers in telecommunications, broadband, and the deployment of linear infrastructure".

Hackett has long put forward proposals to NBN Co for how to improve the rollout and design of the network, from better ways to connect customers to the network, to an alternative pricing model that will encourage uptake of services on the network. His appointment comes close to two years since Hackett sold his Adelaide-based ISP Internode to iiNet, and joined the iiNet board as a non-executive director in August 2012.

His appointment to the NBN board would have a conflict of interest with his role as a board member of iiNet, given one is the wholesale provider, while the other is a retail provider with a significant number of customers already connected to the NBN. But the government confirmed that Hackett will resign his position on the iiNet board at the end of the month.

Flannigan left NBN Co in mid-2011 as the company struggled to reach an agreement with construction partners before halting the tender process entirely. After leaving NBN Co, Flannigan founded and is currently the CEO and managing director of Utility Services Group.

Milne worked with Turnbull at OzEmail, and then later headed up Telstra's BigPond, and later Telstra Media. It was understood that Milne had already been brought in to NBN Co to consult as part of the strategic review.

Hackett, Milne and Flannigan will join the existing board made up of executive chairman Dr Ziggy Switkowski, Alison Landsley and Dr Kerry Schott. Switkowski said that the experience of the board will help it through the strategic review and transition period.

"This is a period of transition for the company and it will be a great asset to have a new board that brings decades of combined experience in the industry," he said in a statement.

Topics: NBN, Telcos, Australia


Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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  • Something smells

    Given that Malcolm has constantly rejected popular demand for a full scale FTTH rollout, the appointment of Hackett makes me fear that his position has not changed.

    It's our money, can't believe it.
    • Huh? Wtf?

      Do you even know anything about Hackett?
      He is all for FTTH, and has been quite vocal about it.

      Leave the ignorant comments to the FTTN/Lib fanboi brigade please.
      • Agree

        I seriously hope that Simon gets the best outcome for Australia. Point i was making here is that Malcolm posted a video last week where he already said what the outcome of the review will be.

        Simon posted this on his website in July,


        How much room will Malcolm give to allow Simon to spread his wisdom?
        • You'd better save those Hackett quotes before they get taken down

          Hackett: "After xDSL, fibre is the only upgrade path."

          It would be rather contradictory for the technologist on the NBN board to tell everyone to use hybrid copper when he really believes that pure fiber is the only way to go.

          People should make sure that a FttN node doesn't get installed anywhere their district. It will guarantee you won't get an upgrade to pure fiber later on.

          For those who want FttP, your point would carry more weight if you can do a survey of house prices, and the difference that FttP makes to house resale values (compared to no fiber). That would then convince a far greater number of people to get behind your cause, if they see they might lose $20,000 off their house sale if it has no fiber.
  • Tokenism ftw. Seriously though GimpCo will need someone to explain to them how to continue that special 22% FttP rollout while getting everyone else 25mbps in the next 1144 days. Hackett will be suitable for what they have in mind I'm sure.
    Hubert Cumberdale
  • Hackett's FTTP vs FTTN presentation

    This is worth checking out and sharing. Hopefully people will listen to Hackett's advice.