NBN panel issues gag order reminder

NBN panel issues gag order reminder

Summary: Stephen Conroy's Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) has written to National Broadband Network bidders reminding them of the so-called 'gag order' against revealing information regarding their bids or the tender process.


Stephen Conroy's Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) has written to National Broadband Network bidders reminding them of the so-called "gag order" against revealing information regarding their bids or the tender process.

"Now that we have reached this stage of the process, the panel of experts will be writing all proponents reminding them of their obligations under the RFP [request for proposals]," Conroy's spokesperson told ZDNet.com.au this week in response to a question on whether the government had been cracking down on bidders getting too talkative.

Before the bids were due last week, Communications Minister Conroy had said that he would not be announcing the companies who handed in proposals, as they would likely announce themselves. After this comment, all of the bidders did put out statements about their bids.

However, over the past week, the flow of information from bidders has slowed, with several bidders shutting off the tap altogether or expressing a belief that information would need to be passed through the department first.

Government tender processes generally require respondents not to talk publicly about their bids, although some in the NBN process, such as Telstra, have discussed their bids relatively openly.

Although Optus would not comment on whether it had received a letter or not, Optus' director of government and corporate affairs Maha Krishnapillai has told ZDNet.com.au previously that there were expectations of silence.

"They have told us in no uncertain terms that there are very strict requirements for the RFP," he said. "You can talk about policy issues," Krishnapillai continued, but said that talking about specific details of bids put bidders on "very dangerous ground".

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

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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  • Phew. That was close.

    How fortuitous for Optus. They won't have to explain their dubious funding sources now.
  • And we have the full Telstra "bid"

    mmmm thats odd.
    Telstra publish their "bid" to all and sundry - surely that breaches the rules and makes them ineligible.
  • At least they won't do things by halves

    Telstra's bid is a typical Telstra bid - Sydney and Melbourne will get yet another fast way to connect to the Internet and bugger everyone else because it is too challenging and not profitable enough.

    I think they made that clear enough in their pulicised bid.
  • What does it matter?

    How is it fortuitous for Optus? If their funding sources are "dubious", then what does them not being allowed to talk about it in public have anything to do with it?

    If they really are "dubious" then they're not going to win the bid anyway...
  • what more do we need

    oh look sydney and mel together at the top of the page, about time. thats the way it should be

    what more do we need then? we have t's all time #1 fan and the latest #1hater together.

    perhaps 10 rounds of queensberry rules?

    no disrespect mel, but i think youd be canvassed before round 2, by the amount of low blows sydney has endured for his outspokenness in supporting the *unfashionable telstra*, but yet still bounces back.

    yes, yes i know i am off topic.
  • oh no no, MOTT you misunderstand

    Telstra respects the proper process'es of the law and respects the australian government, they dont think they're a law unto themselves at all, no sireee bob!.. oh wait... lol, perhaps you are spot on there after all then mott,

    Personally I wish telstra would abide by this gag order, it's really pissing me off how their trying their hardest to whip regular aussies into a firestorm of voter pressure for there side... 1 thing I'd like to point out tesltra, your bid isnt getting voted on, it's been chosen by a panel of EXPERTS, so god forbiding some random case of delerium on the behalf of the panel, its going to get shot down, no matter how much your propaganda has turned aust racist against optus
  • @oh no

    I think you ,meant those bloody Mexicanos/yanks are turning Aust racist against Optus. Oh wait...lol.
  • rofl

    yeah bloody gringos! them and there tequila, sol's an illegal immigrant anyways, he's mexican :P

    ... * this racism is in no way endorsed or supported by telstra, all people are equal, unless your optus, then your scum of the earth and will burn in the eternal fires of hell*
  • "True Competition"

    So when are you a racist if you decide to support an Australian company like Telstra instead of a foreign owned company like Singtel/Optus??

    Just because you support an Australian company does not mean u r a racist!!

    What this country really needs is "Tru Competition" not the over regulated stuff OPTUS loved under the Howard/Coonan years!!
  • Conroy botched it, now he sweeps under carpet

    Is it just me or did anyone else notice that anything that Conroy gets his hands on turns to disaster and he inevitably tries to silence anyone that takes the time to actually address the issues and have a healthy dialogue.

    If only the public could "unvote" politicians based on their performance. Conroy would be a gonner.
  • So far so good.

    For starters Senator Conroy saved the Australian taxpayer 1 billion dollars with his cancellation of Opel.

    To date he has be scroupulous in his direction of the NBN tender proposals. Hopefully he, and Telstra, will work together for Australia.