Failed NBN deal bites Apple Isle: Greens

Failed NBN deal bites Apple Isle: Greens

Summary: The Greens Party has said that regional Tasmanians have been left swinging after a joint-venture deal between federal and state governments for the provisioning of the National Broadband Network (NBN) collapsed.

SHARE:

The Greens Party has said that regional Tasmanians have been left swinging after a joint-venture deal between federal and state governments for the provisioning of the National Broadband Network (NBN) collapsed.

Apple Isle

(Day 45 image by Richard Giles, CC BY-SA 2.0)

State-owned Aurora Energy would have supplied parent NBN Co with free access to its fibre network in exchange for a stake in the company after its planned privatisation in seven years.

But the deal was formally outed as having failed this week, leaving Premier David Bartlett to field questions about the future of the network.

Greens MP Kim Booth told ZDNet Australia that the collapse reduces the state's ability to influence the roll-out of the network.

"It is unclear what will ultimately come of the NBN roll-out here," Booth said.

"If we just become a contractor rather than a partner … we are concerned that we will just have passenger status rather than driving the roll-out of the network around Tasmania.

"And that will mean that even less of those regional and rural areas promised fibre to the door will get it."

He said the failure paints a "grim prospect" for other regional and rural areas across the country which have been promised fibre access.

However, Bartlett has said that it doesn't matter that the joint venture had fallen through.

"The exact commercial model used for delivering the NBN is not a major issue. Whether it's through a joint venture or other commercial arrangements," the premier told iTWire in a statement. "Nor will it affect the actual NBN roll-out itself."

The Opposition had criticised Federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy in Senate Estimates in October on the stalled deal. Conroy said then that he would talk to Bartlett.

The deal started showing signs of being in trouble almost a year ago, when NBN Tasmania chief executive Doug Campbell admitted deal negotiations were being effectively sidelined so the company could focus on construction.

Booth said that the Tasmanian suburbs of Dilston, Hillwood and Swan Bay will lose out due to the failure of the talks, because there is friction between the NBN Co and the state as to whether they should be included in the roll-out.

Topics: Government, Broadband, Government AU, Telcos, NBN

Darren Pauli

About Darren Pauli

Darren Pauli has been writing about technology for almost five years, he covers a gamut of news with a special focus on security, keeping readers informed about the world of cyber criminals and the safety measures needed to thwart them.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

5 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • And don't for one minute think this is not going to continue.
    Wallingford-314a6
  • Teething problems and it shows the governments not afraid to show these companies who's boss, if they aren't happy...

    And isn't that one of the naysayers, whinge categories, better management?
    RS-ef540
  • Better management you say - Hallelujah. (If only)
    Wallingford-314a6
  • Ah damned if you do/don't when it comes to the burned TLS shareholder eh?
    RS-ef540
  • As the Oracle on all things Telstra, your observations are spot on as usual RS. (In your opinion that is !) Don't you think that the "burned Telstra shareholder tag" has well and truly run it's course ?
    Wallingford-314a6