The National Broadband Network Company today said it was on track to finalise a shortlist of network equipment and services suppliers by the end of January.
In a statement, the company said it had received "many high quality responses" to a request for capability statement document it issued in late 2009. The company has previously said it expected to announce shortlisted candidates on 3 February.
"NBN Co expects to finalise a shortlist of suppliers by the end of the month," the company said. "Following this process, NBN Co will invite selected suppliers to participate in one or more formal requests for proposal processes during the first quarter of this year."
The company has previously said it intended to issue a request for the proposals document on 15 February. "NBN Co will progressively issue further request for capability statement and request for proposal documents covering other goods and services," the statement said.
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has recently defended the NBN Co's tendering processes, denying some contracts have been secured behind closed doors. "I don't think these tenders are secret," Conroy told ITNews.com.au in late December. "Australia Post don't publish their tenders."
Any number of large vendors, such as Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei, NEC, Nokia Siemens Networks and Cisco, are expected to submit their capabilities.