No NBN 'go button' until Telstra deal

No NBN 'go button' until Telstra deal

Summary: Although Telstra and the National Broadband Network company (NBN Co) have agreed to use Telstra's pits and ducts at second release sites, the "go button" on the NBN will not be hit until the deal is finalised, according to CEO Mike Quigley.

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TOPICS: NBN, Broadband
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Although Telstra and the National Broadband Network company (NBN Co) have agreed to use Telstra's pits and ducts at second release sites, the "go button" on the NBN will not be hit until the deal is finalised, according to CEO Mike Quigley.

"We have negotiated with Telstra a way forward with those second release sites. It has been negotiated but it is not finally complete so we should be able to do something earlier," Quigley told the inaugural joint parliamentary inquiry on the NBN in Sydney this morning, but said that the full roll-out of the project will not hit its peak until the $11 billion deal with Telstra to lease its ducts and pipes is completed.

"While we have spoken to Telstra about doing a number of things, we won't get unlimited access to ducts and backhaul until those conditions are finally met. We've done a lot of preparatory work ... but we really cannot press the final go button on [to start in] volume until we have that deal finalised," he said.

According to Quigley, the deal is in the "final stages" of negotiations. In the NBN business case, NBN Co said that it was expecting the deal to be finalised in June; however, Telstra has delayed shareholder voting on the deal until towards the end of 2011. Quigley told the committee today that there will also be a number of other factors that will affect this.

"Telstra does need to do some remediation work, does need to do some work in exchanges, does need to do some re-grooming of traffic so that we can have access to the dark fibre and it needs to do some remediation of ducts. So that all needs to be sequenced and planned."

Quigley said that to proceed without the deal in place would likely end up costing the government more money.

"We need to make a decision about whether we wait for the Telstra potential deal to be finalised. In which case we have available to us an enormous number of facilities. Huge facilities in terms of underground ducts, exchange facilities and backhaul facilities," he said. "If we were to ignore those we may in fact go ahead and start building and then be building for example aerially where in fact we could have used the Telstra ducts. Or drilling underground and putting new duct in when there's useable duct on the same street for Telstra.

"It would be a bad outcome for the taxpayer and a bad outcome for the community if we had gone ahead [before] having those facilities available."

According to the executive, negotiations had been tough but as soon as the deal is finalised, NBN Co will update the milestones in the business case to account for the delay.

"We're all keen to get on with the build as fast as we can but it would be unwise to build while there were open questions on policy issues."

Diverting to address labour shortages

Although Quigley refused to reveal the budget for construction of the network, he admitted that in some areas of Australia, finding labour would be tough.

"In some places in Australia it will be relatively easy, in some places it will be much more difficult. In Western Australia, north-west Australia, it won't be easy. But we are addressing that. We're already undertaking discussions with various departments within government ... about training requirements. We've been speaking with training companies and we are having discussions with the contracting community."

The CEO said that the roll-out schedule could potentially be changed in order to ensure that NBN Co is not paying higher costs for labour in certain areas.

"If we have planned to go to this particular region, region X, and we find that labour shortages are a problem, we may have to divert for some time to region Y and then come back to region X when we have solved the labour issues in region X. We have that ability."

NBN report card

Quigley flagged that as the customers of NBN Co, the retail service providers should be able to provide feedback to government on the NBN, and he said that he will be proposing to the government that there be an "NBN report card" for which telcos can judge whether the wholesale network operator is meeting its goals.

Topics: NBN, Broadband

About

Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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46 comments
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  • Great,

    A CEO that thinks he can control his environmental factors with 'the force'. Can control take up rates, can control labor and lastly can control the people of Australia with the 'Jedi mind trick' (well maybe the 'tech heads').

    The idea that the NBN will cost the $47 billion (with these private investors who absolutely love a return of a project of this magnitiude of 7% with payback in 2034 - instead of going down the bank and getting a better return NOW!) is the biggest Australian 'gotcha' of all time.

    If the incumbent has done figures (before the NBN) which predictes it to be between $80-$100 billion (and they own the access and best fibre network in Australia), that 'imaginary' return of 7% will be nothing more than 0.5% if they are lucky.

    But wait, there's more! The 'broadband enthusiast' who wants this network for cheap or free, will be whinning none stop once they see their bills, but want the 100Mbps anyway.

    Libs have got their work cut out for them once they get back in - must ditch this 'dog' project asap. Telstra are the only ones who have the free cash flow to pick back up again at a fration of the cost - right terms, legals and conditions. Good luck to the TLS shareholder...
    Theguy-bbb4a
    • Allow me to provide the TL;DR version.
      Blah, Blah, blah, *partisan rant*, blah, blah.
      Smithe-13f2c
    • "Libs have got their work cut out for them once they get back in"

      They sure do; once they've finished "destroying" the NBN they then have to convince they Australian public that their patchwork network plan is viable. Once they've done that they'll have to implement it (wasting taxpayers money in he process) by the time the 3 years is up most people will be wondering where their FTTN is and the ones that do have it will be wondering why it is so slow and why the rest of the world is forging ahead with FTTH while we took the cheap luddite inspired option.
      Hubert Cumberdale
      • "and why the rest of the world is forging ahead with FTTH while we took the cheap luddite inspired option."

        Well the rest of the world is forging ahead with FTTN as well HC, but never mind you never did let the facts get in the way of a good biased rant, you certainly are not going to change now.
        advocate-d95d7
        • You must enjoy looking like a fool on these forums:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FTTH_by_country

          FTTN is pretty much dead end solution, any countries stupid enough to go down this route deserve what they get, do we want Australia to be one of them?

          btw the only "biased rants" are from those that are unable to think of the future and what broadband speeds will be needed, Abbott and Turnbull have made their position on this very clear "destroy NBN etc" if you agree with them then you are just as biased... quote us another article from The Australian lol
          Hubert Cumberdale
          • HC don't pick on poor alain (oops advocate) he has a "friend" answering for him over Delimiter now (since he is unable)...LOL!

            As for him looking foolish at (all of) these forums... I will at least give him credit "for consistency"!
            Rizz-cd230
          • "I will at least give him credit "for consistency"!'

            You have a point and actually come to think of it chickens running around with their heads cut off can be quite entertaining... someone should put together a website compiling all the NBN highlights from these sites such as Delimiter & ZDnet. I think something like that would be really popular and provide many lols :-)
            Hubert Cumberdale
          • More verbal fluff skirting around the issue with The Fizz & HC comedy act, which one of you is the straight man?

            So that's a YES then, other countries in the world have FTTN and are still rolling out FTTN and have many 100's of thousands of satisfied customers using FTTN broadband.

            Good, glad we got that sorted.
            advocate-d95d7
          • Moving the goal posts are we... sound familiar elain/advocate?

            Gee, look at that H U G E list of countries implementing FTTH HC posted...

            Nut "we can't afford it [sic] whilst almost every other country can"... sigh!

            So with fingers in your ears screaming "I love Abbott"... so you can't hear the facts, please continue your typically dismissed as FOS, FOS FTTN spiel...elain/advocate...!

            Then tell us "before roads there were no roads"... LOL!!!!!!!!!!!
            Rizz-cd230
          • "So that's a YES then, other countries in the world have FTTN"

            You should learn to read and comprehend things properly before commenting, nowhere in my original post did I say other countries were not going down the FTTN route, I'm sure there are but since it is a dead end solution why would I care? Hint: I don’t. Your second clue is there is no FTTN_by_country Wikipedia entry. Perhaps to make things clearer I should have said "rest of the progressive world" or "rest of the world that has a clue"

            "have many 100's of thousands of satisfied customers using FTTN broadband."

            HAHAUHAUHAUHUHAUHAUHUA tell us who has the comedy act now.
            Hubert Cumberdale
          • "Perhaps to make things clearer I should have said "rest of the progressive world" or "rest of the world that has a clue"

            Ahh the old back pedal change the goal posts routine again, HC is 'defining the world' for us under his totally objective view, as long as the answer is FTTH of course, because he wants the sucker taxpayer to pay for his selfish cry of 'waaa -I need faster upload speeds'.

            BTW manic laughter in CAPS doesn't signify anything other than a feeble attempt to get out of the backed in corner you share with Fizz(again).
            advocate-d95d7
          • "Ahh the old back pedal change the goal posts routine again"

            Ahh the old claim someone is backpedalling routine again.

            There is no backpedalling here, once again you should learn to comprehend things properly, I noticed that you like to assume things to suit your own agenda so that could be affecting your ability to come up with relevant replies.


            "HC is 'defining the world' for us under his totally objective view, as long as the answer is FTTH"

            It's not me that is defining it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FTTH_by_country FTTH is the future.


            "because he wants the sucker taxpayer to pay for his selfish cry of 'waaa -I need faster upload speeds'."

            We've been over this already governments build roads consumers buy cars.


            "BTW manic laughter in CAPS doesn't signify anything other than blah blah blah"

            No. What it signifies is that you said something funny and it made me laugh, you really aren’t getting this are you?
            Hubert Cumberdale
          • HC the story so far (condensed)...

            advocate: FTTN is happening throughout the world - only us dumb Aussies are building a white elephant.

            HC: advocate here is a detailed list of a vast number of other countries also rolling out FTTH.

            advocate: Oh so you are back pedalling in that biased rant

            HC: Umm no, I simply presented a detailed list of FTTH deployment totally disproving everything you just claimed.

            advocate: Oh so you are moving the goal posts now, in your biased rant.

            HC: No... again I simply supplied a FTTH list and BTW, there is no such list for FTTN

            advocate: All smoke & mirrors & verbal fluff skirting around the issues, you and your mate are a comedy act

            HC: Seriously are you able to comprehend anything I have just said to you?

            advocate: Ah got to resort to personal attacks now.

            HC: You really just can't understand any of this can you?

            advocate: before roads, there were no roads... I win.

            RS: IN CAPS - HAHAUHAUHAUHUHAUHAUHUA
            Rizz-cd230
          • That was an awesome summary lol :-)

            Seriously though it's a shame these comments sections are not the best, a standard forum would be better for these sorts of conversations. I can follow it fine but I understand there may be some that cant.
            Hubert Cumberdale
          • elain/advocate.

            HC supplied figures proving his FTTH claims, with many many countries building FTTH networks...

            You did not...

            So why don't you supply a detailed list as HC did?

            Or are you, as HC said - "assuming things to suit your own agenda" . Or as I say (I'm not as polite...) simply 100% - 24/7FOS...?
            Rizz-cd230
          • The Fizz and HC double act talking between themselves, patting each other on the back on how clever they are in the mutual admiration society (no one else is of course), giving themselves multiple thumbs up, and giving anything they don't like multiple thumbs down.

            All a bit sad really.
            advocate-d95d7
          • @ advocate...

            Almost as sad as one poor, pitiful, fool/FUDster talking to himself.

            Perhaps that explains why he has multiple names, eh alain?
            Rizz-cd230
          • Wrong again advocate. I only have one account here. Every thumb up for me must be genuine since I have such a charming personality, you could learn from my example and people would give you thumbs up too.
            Hubert Cumberdale
          • They do have a point however, where's the evidence for your argument? They supply facts and figures, while you seem to employ an odd mix of adage, politics, anecdote and marketing.
            Tinman_au
          • No need to be polite tinman_au, yes... he is FOS!
            Rizz-cd230