TPG-Soul has pulled out of the Terria consortium today, saying the nation doesn't need a national broadband network (NBN).
Terria chairman Michael Egan
"Soul is not convinced about the immediate need for a national broadband network especially in the current economic climate," Soul executive chairman David Teoh said in a statement.
He said that Soul's customers currently had access to speeds averaging over 14Mbps, faster than the speed sought for the NBN.
"When you look at our ADSL2+ network performance and you take into account that Telstra has rolled out an ADSL2+ network around the country, there must be a serious question about whether there is any need for Australian taxpayers to make the sizeable investment the NBN network requires," he said.
Michael Egan said that Soul's withdrawal had not been a surprise since no representatives of the companies had attended any of Terria's meetings and there had been no engagement at all. "I've never met any of them," he told ZDNet.com.au.
"It won't affect our bid in any way," he said, since Terria never expected that Soul-TPG would contribute financially to the network. Terria would still be putting in a bid, he said, adding "we could well be the only bidder" with Telstra still adamant that it would not bid if separation was not taken off the table.
Egan did not agree with Soul's reason for dropping out. "It's like saying we shouldn't have rolled out an electricity network last century because some people were happy with lamplight," he said.