NBN bid roundup: Who's in, who's out

NBN bid roundup: Who's in, who's out

Summary: Tomorrow marks the due date for proposals to build the government's $4.7 billion national broadband network, and speculation is mounting on how many bids the government will receive, as Telstra continues to vacillate on whether it will be part of the race. ZDNet.com.au has done a call around to see where the bidders stand.

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Wednesday 26 November marks the deadline for proposals to build the government's $4.7 billion national broadband network, and speculation is mounting on how many bids the government will receive, as Telstra continues to vacillate on whether it will be part of the race. ZDNet.com.au has done a call around to see where the bidders stand.

A spokesperson for Minister Conroy was not able to confirm that no bids for the network have as yet been submitted, although none of the potential bidders have confirmed that their documents are in.

As far as ZDNet.com.au can ascertain, the bidders' positions as at midday Tuesday 25 November are as follows:

Bidder Bid type Will bid? Documents ready? Plans for Wednesday
Telstra National Still undecided, according to a spokesperson for the company, who said Telstra was still seeking certainty on whether Telstra would have to undergo structural separation if it won. "Ready to go", according to David Quilty group managing director public policy and communications. ZDNet.com.au understands there will be a board meeting tomorrow to make a final decision.
Terria National Yes Optus' director of government and corporate affairs Maha Krishnapillai told ZDNet.com.au that he had just signed off on a 1000 page document. Terria will be holding a press conference in Canberra.
Optus National Yes, but with Terria. "We are definitely not putting in a bid alone," Krishnapillai said. Unknown Aligned with Terria.
Axia National Yes Unknown Unknown
Acacia National Would not comment due to gag order, but did not say it would not bid. Unknown Unlikely to be any announcements. "We decided a long time ago just to put our heads down and work and not to make any comments," Acacia director Leon Kempler told ZDNet.com.au.
TransACT State based No comment due to gag order, but TransACT general manager of technology strategy and operations Carsten Larsen said earlier this month that the company was working on the bid. Unknown "We won't be making any announcements," a spokesperson said.
Tasmanian government State based Unable to respond to requests for comment in time. Unknown Unknown

The focus has been on the two most public bidders, Telstra and Terria. Despite the telco's adamancy that it would not bid unless the government said it would not be forced to separate if it won the bid, Telstra's Quilty said that the telco wanted to build the network in a statement which Optus' Krishnapillai considered to be almost an admission that the company was going to take the plunge. He wasn't cowed by the thought, saying "we've said all the way that we're ready for a competitive bid".

Quilty also drew attention to the fact that Terria had still not announced its funding plans publicly. "Taxpayers cannot affort to face the real risk of having to bail out Terria from financial difficulties a couple of years down the track," he said.

Krishnapillai said Terria didn't consider there to be any financial, technical, vendor or other issues which would stop the government choosing the consortium over Telstra. The question, he said, was simply "does the governmenet have the guts to take on Telstra?"

(Image credit: Boxing gloves by Jean Scheijen, Royalty free)


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

7 comments
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  • NBN: Labors Promise?

    Surely Conroy cant stuff it up anymore than under the Howard/Coonan years.

    Lets hope for a policy change and a breath of fresh air for all in the industry!!
    anonymous
  • Peter T.

    Coonan was a particularly poor communications minister; clearly out of her depth. As for your comments, "Surely Conroy cant stuff it up anymore . . ." the answer is, well yes, he can, and he's trying damn hard to do so!

    Anyone with an ounce (or should that be 26 grams) of understanding of the industry should be very worried about the technological future of Australia.
    anonymous
  • IMO

    I was scared under the libs and now i am scared under labor about what is happening in the comms portfolio. IMHO what we need is someone from the private sector with experience in IT (a CIO from a top 100 company would be great) coming in and telling the government how to do things.

    I think that is the only way that we would actually be put on the right path
    anonymous
  • Power without glory.

    Totally agree Denny only trouble is the wife of the top 100 boss might complain 'cause if he went onto Senator Conroy's wage she would have to shift to a smaller house and sell the Roller.
    anonymous
  • Telstra

    here's hoping Telstra don't bid and get broken up at the same time, then locked out of their own exchanges.
    just dreaming.
    anonymous
  • Cancel the whole stupid project.

    Complete waste of taxpayers money and has crowded out private investment while everyone waits to see if there business is going to be destroyed by the bumbling politicians and bureaucrats trying to pick winners.
    anonymous
  • Remember the Golden Rule.

    Don't hold your breath. lol.
    anonymous