Earlier this week (Tuesday 3 March) a number of telecommunications industry heavyweights fronted up to the Senate Select Committee on the National Broadband Network.
The Select Committee will report by 30 March on the government's NBN proposal and the implications for the consumer.
The first hearing was held in Sydney. As you'd expect with the line-up, there's a fair amount of Telstra-bashing. Optus says Telstra had its chance and blew it. Primus says it's slow to deliver wholesale services.
Austar says it charges too much for regional backhaul. A lot of attention for a company that isn't even in the bidding process, but Paul Budde hopes there wil be a love-in that will see Telstra brought back to the table.
It's clear that Telstra will have to be involved in the solution in some shape or form, yet the company says it hasn't heard from anyone in government since its application was rejected.
In this program, hear a day's debate cut down to a manageable 40 minutes or so, with special guest appearances by:
- Andrew Connor, Digital Tasmania
- Dr Walter Green, Communications Experts Group
- Dr Ross Kelso
- Maha Krishnapillai, director of government and corporate affairs, Optus
- John Horan, general counsel, Primus Telecom
- Deanne Weir, group director corporate development and legal affairs, Austar
- Paul Budde, Paul Budde Communication
- Ed Willett, Commissioner, ACCC
- David Quilty, group MD public policy and communications, Telstra
- Dr Tony Warren, executive director, regulatory affairs, Telstra
Thanks to the folks at Hansard for getting the audio track over to us.
Next week, the fun continues. This time in Canberra, where we hear from BT, the Australian Industry Group, Kevin Morgan, Axia and others.