Deutsche Telekom joins Telstra and G9 in fibre fight

Deutsche Telekom joins Telstra and G9 in fibre fight

Summary: The Asian arm of one of Europe's largest telcos, Deutsche Telekom, has announced it may join the race to build Australia's urban fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) network.

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The Asian arm of one of Europe's largest telcos, Deutsche Telekom, has announced it may join the race to build Australia's urban fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) network.

According to a response to guidelines on the proposed network published on the Department of Communications, IT and the Arts' Web site, Deutsche Telekom Asia (DT Asia) is interested in taking part in the fibre rollout as part of a consortium.

"In terms of the investment required, DT Asia is confident that appropriate financial partners are available to support such a strategic infrastructure opportunity.

"DT Asia has a preference for public private funding with an appropriate commercial return. It should be noted that due to the nature of the Australian demographics, targeted subsidies may be required to reach the desired coverage that would otherwise not fit within 'normal' economic models for the wholesale broadband operator," the submission said.

The draft guidelines, decided by an expert taskforce who will preside over the FTTN network's development, will remain available for public consideration for a period of four weeks. The taskforce will then publish a final set of guidelines and interested parties will be able to tender for the network for 17 weeks afterwards.

Deutsche Telekom Asia expressed some concerns about the process in its submission to the taskforce, including the timeframe for the project, which it does not believe is sufficient.

"The timeframes provided do not permit the formation of consortium and for consortia to access the necessary technical information required for the assessment by the expert taskforce. Interested parties require sufficient time to consult on the availability of assets, access agreements to these assets and to be given time to examine and consider this information and its impact on the technology choice and the business plan," the submission said.

Should Deutsche Telekom Asia decide to join the fibre fray, it will likely find itself competing with the Optus-led G9 consortium and Telstra -- both of which have already made their own submissions to the expert taskforce.

In its submission, the G9 group echoed Deutsche Telekom's concerns that not enough time is available, both for consultation on the draft guidelines and for interested parties to create their proposals.

Labor is also planning its own fibre rollout should it win the upcoming election. Earlier this year, the party announced a AU$4.7 billion plan to deploy fibre to the node across the country, in order to deliver 12Mpbs connectivity to 98 percent of Australians.

Topics: Broadband, Government, Government AU, Telcos, Optus, Telstra, NBN, IT Employment

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5 comments
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  • Another overseas company wanting Australian money

    DT Asia has a preference for public private funding with an appropriate commercial return. It should be noted that due to the nature of the Australian demographics, targeted subsidies may be required to reach the desired coverage that would otherwise not fit within 'normal' economic models for the wholesale broadband operator.

    So what they are saying is that they want to use our money to build a network that they will sell back to us and take their monety overseas?

    Sounds a bit like Opel to me.
    anonymous
  • It needs to be built.

    I'm not sure about anyone else, but i'm getting sick and tired of people bagging companies just because they are not Australian.

    Yes it would be great if an Aussie company were able to build a top notch FTTN/FTTH network and offer affordable prices/data allowances while making a profit. But if a non-Australian company is willing to invest and get a lower return while offering cheaper service then great.

    I don't particularly care who offers the service aslong as its value for money, and that it gets done.
    anonymous
  • Read the story, not headline

    There were two points to the above comment, yes they are overseas but more importantly they appear to be ready to ask for government handouts.

    If my taxes build the service then I would want it for free or for the profits to go to the government, if a private company funds the service then I would be happy pay them.
    anonymous
  • Taxpayer Funded Infrastructure or Service

    So I guess if the government came up with 20 billion to build an Australian Wide FTTH network to replace the copper you would expect every service provided over the Fibre (PayTV, Internet, Telephone, etc.) to also be provided for free?

    If government handouts are required to provide service equity in a rollout (for example to keep the price consistant between Capital cities and other slightly more regional centers) then that is payment for the Infrastructure. It entitles you to expect that you will receive the same level of service at the same price as the next guy. It does not entitle you to receive the service free as this would require the government to continue spending money subsidising the operating costs of the entire system.

    As for profits going to the government why don't they just build and run the whole thing then? Governments are not there to make money, they are there to decide on the best way to spend the money they receive through taxes to provide services to the people they represent. Normally they spend money on essential services and since the Internet is not essential I would be grateful they are considering putting any money into it at all. Then again it sounds like you don't use the net much, otherwise you would be looking at this from a consumer point of view rather than thinking of yourself as a shareholder of the Government that shomehow owes you a return on your investment (taxes).
    anonymous
  • If we can't...

    If no other company in our country can do it, then I say bring it on. If Telstra or other companies cannot compete, then welcome to capitalism. We shouldnt expect to use a company just because they are Aussie, we need to have some competition in our market. Something like this just might make Telstra pull their finger out and start competing, because at the moment they are not. Hence why our broadband is called "fraudband"...
    anonymous