Telstra out of the running, Terria claims

Telstra out of the running, Terria claims

Summary: Telstra's apparent non-compliant bid has ruled the telco out of the running for the $4.7 billion National Broadband Network, Terria chairman Michael Egan claimed this afternoon.

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Telstra's apparent non-compliant bid has ruled the telco out of the running for the $4.7 billion National Broadband Network, Terria chairman Michael Egan claimed this afternoon.

Telstra out of the running?
(Credit: Lurcher racing at Selby game fair, Nebbish1. CC2.0)

"They're out of the bid," Egan told ZDNet.com.au today, saying that no government in its right mind would let itself be bullied in the way he said the Telstra document was trying to do. "This is what they've tried with the Howard government," he said.

"No government would give into that sort of blackmail... unless it was a Robert Mugabe government," he continued.

Egan wouldn't even call Telstra's document a bid. "It's not a half bid. It's not a bid at all," he said, calling the speeds and coverage mentioned in the document "outrageous". "They've shot themselves in the head," he said.

Ovum telecommunications analyst David Kennedy, however, did not think the telco had definitely ruled itself out, saying that by lodging a short, allegedly non-compliant bid, Telstra had kept itself in the running for the Government's funding.

Kennedy saw the document as an invitation for "senior levels" of government meaning Communications Minister Stephen Conroy and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, to sit down with Telstra and work out a deal.

Whether the invitation would be taken up depended on the Terria-backed Optus Network Investments (ONI) bid, Kennedy said. "If the department doesn't feel they can accept the Optus bid they're going to find themselves in the position where they can't not talk to Telstra," he said.

Kennedy believed that the other bids would have to be very strong to compete with Telstra's financial and technical abilities.

Gartner analyst Robin Simpson said it was a Mexican standoff at which he wasn't sure the government would blink. He believed that Telstra would be "convinced" into very soon filing a proper bid, which would allow it to continue in the process, unless the government decided that Acacia's, Axia's or Terria's bid was good enough to exclude them.

He said Telstra's strategy was risky, especially given that Terria's bid seemed to be compliant, saying in the release it meant to meet the 98 per cent coverage objective. "I think [Telstra's] painted themselves into a corner," he said.

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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5 comments
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  • Lets hope Terria are right!

    According to Telstra's submission they will charge $39.95 per month for a 1Mbps bandwidth and 200MB download quota. Personally I'd prefer to go back to dialup. Will be interesting to see whether Stephen Conroy sells Australia's future prosperity to Telstra.
    anonymous
  • egg - on not egan

    egans out too, terria didn't bid, optus did. haha

    funny conroy doesn't agree, he says telstras bid complied.

    ABC. Communications Minister Stephen Conroy says Telstra's bid is completely valid.

    will egg-on face, ever get anything right?
    anonymous
  • Senator Conroy is wrong

    If Telstra's minimum offer is 1Mbs speed and 200MB downloads then Telstra's offer is outside the Commonwealth's requirements that the minimum speed be 12Mbit. What part of this do you and Telstra not understand?

    That said, 12Mbit is still too slow. ADSL2+ over the copper network runs at up to 24Mbit. Why would any company bother restricting speed on a fibre network - it beggars belief that even Telstra would stoop to this level and what this does is prove that Telstra is not listening to their punters.

    We have so many ISPs in Australia that want to give people quality Internet access and then there is Telstra who is satisfied with placing as many needless limitations and restrictions on their products as possible.

    My question is when is Labor and Telstra going to come into the 21st century and start planning for a full fibre network, accessible by everyone and offering at least 100Mbit speed? Other countries are doing it and some of them aren't as well off as our country is. It's time to put the bulldust about the tyranny of distance to bed and just get on with it.
    anonymous
  • TTT everyone. Australian Taxpayers want to know.

    Ta Ta Terrier why didn't you TTT.

    Now the BIG question is where those who are left get the required finance? Telstra has revealed its source so we wait for the others to come clean.
    anonymous
  • Telstra bully games - MARKED AS SPAM BY AKISMET

    Very interesting article about this over at business spectator... I think Alan Kohler hit the nail on the head.

    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/How-not-to-play-monopoly-LSQZ3?OpenDocument
    anonymous