National broadband data: who's late

National broadband data: who's late

Summary: Today is the deadline for Australian telcos to hand over information on their networks so that the federal government can use it in its process to build a $4.7 billion national broadband network. ZDNet.com.au investigated who's on time and who's late.

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update Today is the deadline for Australian telcos to hand over information on their networks so that the federal government can use it in its process to build a $4.7 billion national broadband network. ZDNet.com.au investigated who's on time and who's late.

Potential bidders to build and operate the network needed to have the information, such as where fibre cable existed already, to be able to complete informed bids for the NBN tender.

Ten days ago, acting Communications Minster Anthony Albanese, filling in for Stephen Conroy, released final documents detailing the information carriers needed to supply by today.

Once the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy has verified all the necessary information has been provided and has reached proponents, bidders will have 12 weeks to finalise their proposals.

ZDNet.com.au investigated which carriers outlined in the Department's document had given their information in to the government.

Carrier Information In?
AAPT Yes
Agile Communications "Absolutely"
Amcom Unknown
Digital River Networks Will be coming in today
Macquarie Telecom Yes
NextGen Networks Unknown
Optus Networks Yes
Pipe Networks Unknown
Primus Telecommunications Yes
Soul Unknown
Telstra Yes
TransACT Declined to comment
Vodafone Yes

Telstra said it had already received written confirmation from DBCDE that it had met its information provision requirements.

However, a spokesperson for Commmunications Minister Conroy has as yet been unable to confirm this. Telstra said it had submitted its information sometime before 7 August.

"Last week, Optus CEO Paul O'Sullivan claimed Telstra was holding up the NBN by not complying with its network information requirements," Telstra's incoming group managing director for public policy and communications, David Quilty, said today.

"This confirmation demonstrates that O'Sullivan's claim was a falsehood and he should now apologise for misleading the Australian public," he said.

"We look forward to assessing the quality of Telstra's information — after its numerous attempts to get it right," an Optus spokesperson said.

Ravi Bhartia, CEO of Primus Telecom said: "In this particular case, beauty is in the eye of the user," meaning that the proponents will be the judge of whether the information is useful or not.

The documents the department issued only defined the format and the actual content of the information, he said, and not whether it could actually be used by someone.

Matt Healy, Macquarie Telecom national executive regulatory and government, agreed with Bhartia.

He also, however, dug the boot into the department for its lack of transparency, being unable to tell ZDNet.com.au which parties had lodged their information already and whether Telstra's information had been approved.

"One party says I just got a letter, na na nee na na, and the department can't even acknowledge that. It's crazy," he said.

He said he thought Conroy was committed to a transparent process, but that the department was "stuck in a paradigm of the past".

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

Suzanne Tindal

About Suzanne Tindal

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for the site.

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38 comments
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  • Financial and technological disaster awaits.

    The blowtorch goes onto the belly now. The smoke and mirrors are cast aside and truth in its shining honesty must reign supreme.

    Firstly the deceipt that TERRiA can obtain finance must be admitted.
    The untruthful suggestion that TERRiA has the capacity to build the NBN must be exposed.
    The request that TERRiA be allowed a monopoly without competition must be denied.
    The disaster to Australia's communications that could be caused by an attempted TERRiA build must be avoided.
    Over to you Senator Conroy.
    anonymous
  • "Tierra"

    Fact or Fiction??
    anonymous
  • Tierra it sure is

    They are an ever changing entity which is reinventing and self replicating itself, also known as a virus. Take a look at what the word means. They tried to spell it Terria but we all know the truth.
    anonymous
  • The blowtorch goes onto the belly now.

    Well Sydney Lawrence I must admit that I have read quite a few of your posts and I don't think that I have ever seen such one eyed bull dust in my life!
    Having said that I must applaud you for your convictions (right or wrong) if that is what you truly believe? my only wish is that you would make a stand on your own( your own thoughts and words) and not repeat the endless drivel that that is propagated by a P.R. machine. At times almost verbatim
    The fact that you can not post a reply or comment without the use of P.R. drivel is a sad comment on your true thoughts( and/or the ability to think for yourself) obliviously you sir you are either in the pay of or have an exceeding amount of funds tied up in in shares in your beloved Telstra.
    If you do truly believe what you preach then at least be original in your wording .
    Please note that I am not condemning your views
    If you truly believe what you write?
    just your lack of original wording and tact.
    I personally do not agree with you but as the saying goes
    " Thems the breaks"
    Sir the way you come across in your posts is that of a paid stooge
    Awaiting your reply
    Brudda
    anonymous
  • From each according to their ability.

    Anonymous how kind you are to reflect that my limited education could produce writings that may be mistaken for the production of a professional PR machine.

    If what I write has some merit it is because it is my sincere belief expressed in the hope that it may be of value to my country, Australia. While Telstra is not perfect it is Australian and many Australians are dependent on it for their survival.

    It would be nice to be (as you describe it) a paid stooge of Telstra but alas I remain a burnt-out Aussie who after fifty years of toil in hard physical work enjoy no such luxury.

    I am puzzled by your reference to my lack of origional wording and tact and somewhat hurt. Please believe me when I tell you that all my expressions are mine and it is always my intention to be tactful. Every best wish to you.
    anonymous
  • @the blowtorch

    whether sydney lawrence has none, one or tens of thousands of telstra shares, as you say, does not mean is isn't entitled to his views. every so often he gets bagged because of shareholdings he says he doesn't even have. thing is the guys attacking him, or like you calling him a stooge, are probably employees or shareholders of telstra's opponents or have some interest themselves. in other words, they are stooges.
    anonymous
  • according to their ability

    From each according to their ability.
    True but may I also add "with a true belief of what one says"
    I sir am of a limited education and as such have trouble conveying my thoughts/intent to others so please understand that this is not a personal attack upon yourself merely my observations and perceptions
    The idea that you are a P.R. machine for telstra comes about with your style of writing in that you tend to use telstra P.R. drivel verbatim with little other personal thoughts/reasoning added to clarify your stance
    Bye the way I do apologize for the "Stooge " reference as it was uncalled for
    I have perceived you to be a one eyed supporter when it comes to telstra in that you will take every chance possible to belittle the "foreign owned" "leeches" that are the opponents to telstra
    yet you consistently neglect the fact that telstra is not an wholly Australian owned company (I believe one third owned by foreign interests) and complain if the other companies so much as look like getting any government funding for infrastructure to oppose telstra and applaud when telstra gets the funding instead
    Not to mention that the things telstra complain about with these " foreign leeches" is the exact same thing that telstra does in there offshore markets!
    I also do not believe that telstra is wholly bad but they could and should do more the Australian people and thus the economy.
    The idea that the short term benefit of its shareholders is more important then the nation as a whole is both self centric and irresponsible.
    Yes they have a responsibility to their shareholders but also a responsibility to this once great nation of ours and the two responsibilities can co-exist and indeed enhance each other in the long term which is where any companies goals should be aimed ( long term future not just present short term gains)
    As for the other players on the whole I do not think that they are any better or worse then telstra
    I am by nature a cynic but I do try to look from both sides of the argument although I admit that I am not always successful .
    As you said "Telstra is not perfect" but you should not ignore the imperfect bits in the hope that they will go away you must address them as well in these public debates to be seen as even handed and at times maybe even question some of what telstra says and the way it acts
    So having had my say I will once again state that this post is not meant as a personal attack upon yourself
    I am sorry if it is perceived as such
    Brudda
    anonymous
  • yorrick hunt

    Yes you are correct he is entitled to his views as we all are,
    As for the stooge remark yes it was uncalled for and I have apologized for it and as for my being a shareholder or employee of one of telstras opponents I must say that I never have been a shareholder in or employed by either telstra or its opponents.
    I am trying to survive on a disability pension so all that is debated about these companies effects me to a much greater degree then most
    It is probably a given that no matter who wins the NBN the prices will increase but it is the amount and reasoning behind the increases that are to be questioned
    It would appear that the use of broadband for extremely low income people like myself will most likely be out of reach and some people do actually need it for every day access to the outside world as it is imposable for them to venture out.
    I at least am lucky in that the last does not apply to myself as I have full mobility
    anonymous
  • Whatever

    Nevermind their ignorant remarks Brudda...

    Sydney & Co. have for been pro-Tel$tra supporters now for some time, come Hell or High Water!

    Sydney claims to have done some 50 years of hard labour (perhaps a jail term?) - but having been a primary producer residing outside the 'urban fringe' for some time now, I have found the only real service providers who are interested in my community's needs for broadband internet has been anyone except Tel$tra!

    Until any competitor was available to privide BASIC broadband access, the ONLY choice we had in my area was Tel$tra at a rate of $105 per month for 512Kbps/128Kbps and 3 Gbytes traffic - of which BOTH upload and download were assessed against the monthly limit!

    Once the competing ISP's were made available to our community, we could get better access for almost 3 quarters the monthly price, and upstream traffic was not counted against our usage!

    Sydney, I am as True Blue as the next 'Ocker' but your consistent one-eyed commentry certainly paints you as a Tel$tra shareholder or employee only interested in your end-of-financial-year-revenue. (Brudda should not have needed to apologise previously - you deserved the response he gave!)

    I say: "Bring on the competition and the structrural separation" - but more importantly, let's hope the NBN services those that are the most in need - our outback mates.

    I am, you are, we are Australian - right???

    PS: If you ate a meal today - thank a farmer. If you can read this - thank a teacher!
    anonymous
  • @ whatever

    There is a thing called competition. Regardless of industry when there is none prices do not fall, when there is the prices fall. The difference with Telstra is they service the entire country and offer the same plans regardless of where you live. They did not drop the price just because there was competition in your area so don't think you are special (other then mentally). There are many companies that will not service 90% of the country simply because there is no profit to be made, why is it that Telstra has ADSL in over 2500 exchanges but most companies only fight for the top 300 - 400 exchanges?

    p.s. I can read this thanks to my TELSTRA supplied broadband.
    anonymous
  • ignorant remarks

    I appreciate your support Whatever!
    As for the apology it still stands !
    I am a firm believer of say what you mean and mean what you say but also admit to errors.
    I have worked hard (and played hard) all my life paid my taxes and have ended up on a disability pension so I and many others have a vested interest in what happens in regards to telecommunications and its price as it effect our our ability to interact with the world at large ( the same for rural people/farmers /businesses etc.)
    I am bowing out of this discussion as I find it stressful and not good for my well being.

    As for others who are tempted to say p*ss off you stupid old fart or insinuate that my mental capacity is somewhat diminished
    Go for it
    But May I just say careful what you say as you may be looking in the mirror.
    Brudda
    anonymous
  • Same service/prices across the country...

    This is the line that Telstra trot out when they are accused of abusing their monopoly on backhaul services to Tasmania. For retail services, it means they are ripping off Tasmanians just a little less than those in other areas, gee thanks!

    Many other ISP's offer their services in Tasmania at national prices but with a far lower margin due to Telstra's stranglehold. Telstra wont even respond to the bacuhaul issue where they charge many times more for MEL-HBA than MEL-ADL bandwidth.

    Bring on structural separation which will allow competition to flourish and let the consumer decide.
    anonymous
  • Tassie

    If it wasn't for Telstra the "embellical" cord would not exist..you bet OPTUS will not switch on any capacity!!
    anonymous
  • "Tierra"

    LOL...your right..this would have been a more apt name!

    "The computer programs in Tierra are evolvable and can mutate, self-replicate and recombine. Tierra is a frequently cited example of an artificial life model; in the metaphor of the Tierra, the evolvable computer programs can be considered as digital organisms which compete for energy (CPU time) and resources (main memory). Tierra is a derivative of the computer programmer's game Core War."
    anonymous
  • Please explain same services/prices across the country...

    Why is it that the owner of a link between Melbourne and Adelaide has chosen not to switch it on? Instead they take a $5,000,000 payment from the Tasmainian government each year to subsidise the so called high cost of using the Telstra service. There is plenty of capacity that has never been turned on because they know that they will not make as much money running their own cable as reselling Telstra cable.

    Who is this company you may ask? A 100% Singtel owned company. Do some research and you will find it could have been switched on 3 years ago saving the Tassie givernment $15,000,000 and helping to increase competition in the Tassie.
    anonymous
  • PR Bashing...

    A point I'd like to bring up, I'm not sure if anyone else has noticed or if its just my imagination but telstra's PR department only ever bashes optus?, as a person who gets a heap of exposure to telstra's spin I've only ever seen it aimed at optus...especially on the topic of supplying NBN information, as the list in the article shows, theres plenty of NBN companies that havent handed theirs in yet, why the attacks on Optus?

    Personal Vendetta or trying to take out the main threat to telstras own NBN bid?
    anonymous
  • Optus IS TERRiA.

    James you say Telstra only "bashes" Optus.
    James can you supply the amount of capital that would be available from the Optus partners in TERRiA for investment in NBN?

    I would think the amount would be very small so as to indicate that Optus would be the only credible company in TERRiA and hence the Telstra concentration on Optus.
    anonymous
  • point is?

    lol so the term Terria and Optus is interchangable, and telstra bashes both, hence my assertion, telstras concentrating on optus... or singtel if you'd like me refer to a big umbrella term?

    "I would think the amount would be very small so as to indicate that Optus would be the only credible company in TERRiA and hence the Telstra concentration on Optus."

    my point exactly, telstra's PR department is focusing on the only credible threat...? thoughts people?
    anonymous
  • point is..

    Its just part of the telstra strategy to consolodate their monopoly position in Australia. There are two main obsticles to this strategy, losing NBN and structural separation. Hence they attack the most competative threat to NBN - Optus, with any and all sorts of rehtoric in the knowledge that if you throw enough mud, some of it sticks. Keep shoutiong mindless "brown shirt" slogans such as "foreign owned" "leeches" etc.
    To protect the monopoly they attack the Govt (ACCC) and spread disinformation about how separation will increase costs and reduce performance. Quite funnry as they do this all by themselves anyway!
    anonymous
  • Corporate dream

    well it certainly would be a corporations dream to hold the only functional Fibre Network in Australia, especially if the only other telco players in australia dont have the capital to invest in a network themselves, but i want to see what the pro-telstra camp got to say 1st... hopefully not a rebutal but more of an opinion on the seeming focus on optus/terria/ singtel,
    anonymous