Govt-OPEL WiMax deal 'hit by Telstra case worries'

Govt-OPEL WiMax deal 'hit by Telstra case worries'

Summary: The government's plan for bush WiMax coverage may well have hit a hurdle, after concerns over an ongoing court case with Telstra reportedly led to a delay in signing the contract with OPEL to build the network.

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The government's plan for bush WiMax coverage may well have hit a hurdle, after concerns over an ongoing court case with Telstra reportedly led to a delay in signing the contract with OPEL to build the network.

The bush WiMax network, which has attracted around AU$1 billion in government funding, is scheduled to go live across Australia from 2009, following a successful bid by OPEL, a joint venture between Optus and Elders, to build the wholesale infrastructure.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the government has yet to finalise the agreement with OPEL after being advised to wait until a court battle with Telstra is over before concluding the deal.

Telstra launched the legal action earlier this month, alleging that Communications Minister Helen Coonan refused to provide access to documents on how the winning bidder was selected.

Coonan said the bid was "selected simply because [OPEL's] was an outstanding bid when matched against the government's objectives" and Telstra's objections were "sour grapes".

However, according to the Herald, the deal -- scheduled to be signed on Wednesday -- was shelved on the advice of the government's lawyers that there remains "legal doubt" about the scheme, stemming from Telstra's actions.

The Minister's office and Optus did not respond to request for comment.

A Telstra spokesperson said that "significant questions have been raised about the wisdom of this decision" and queried whether government has "something to hide" over the Broadband Connect deal.

Topics: Broadband, Government, Government AU, Legal, Networking, Telcos, Optus, NBN, Wi-Fi

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3 comments
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  • Telstra

    Talk about sore loosers... they are just pissed beacuse they are loosing there monopoly on screwing Australia.
    anonymous
  • Govt-OPEL WiMax deal 'hit by Telstra case worries'

    The Lawyers are probably eerrring on the side of caution.
    Telstra is just following its normal process in holding up BB for consumers as it wants to ripoff consumers
    NO company deserves to have its profit fixed into costs so that it can ADD extra profit on top
    RE Telstra's FTTN pricings that have leaked out.
    anonymous
  • Privatisation of Telstra

    It is interesting that as soon as Telstra is privatised, it turns around and bites one in the behind. This should be a lesson for governments intent of privatisation to squeeze every dollar out of what had been public property. Don't tell me they haven't foreseen this! The Howard government deserves what it gets.
    anonymous