Doug Campbell to be Tassie NBN chair

The Federal and Tasmanian governments have appointed former Telstra executive Doug Campbell to chair the Tasmanian leg of the National Broadband Network.

update The Federal and Tasmanian governments have appointed former Telstra executive Doug Campbell to chair the Tasmanian leg of the National Broadband Network.

Doug Campbell

Doug Campbell
(Credit: Telstra)

The news came as Communications Minister Stephen Conroy and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd also today announced the appointment of long-time Alcatel-Lucent veteran Mike Quigley to the position of executive chairman of the National Broadband Network Company. It is expected he will eventually become the company's chief executive, with another company director to take a non-executive chair role.

Campbell was the founder and long-time group managing director of Telstra's Country Wide rural division. He was also the chairman of the failed Acacia bid to build the NBN and holds an Order of Australia for his service to business and the community, particularly for his work at Telstra.

Campbell retired in December 2005, but continued with his then-employer Telstra in an advisory capacity. However, he resurfaced during the Rudd Government's NBN tendering process as the chairman of Acacia, a shadowy group of businessmen who put in a bid to build the NBN, the full details of which were never revealed.

The executive will lead the Tasmanian NBN Company Ltd (TNBN Co), a new company to be established and jointly owned by the larger national NBN Company and Tasmanian government-owned Aurora Energy.

"Mr Campbell has 48 years of industry experience: 30 years in Canada competing with established telecommunications providers, and 18 years in Australia as a senior executive in Telstra," a statement issued by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said this morning.

"The government is continuing the process to appoint other directors to the board of TNBN Co, and expects to be in a position to make further announcements shortly. Mr Campbell will shortly commence his role as chair of TNBN Co."

Campbell is a qualified civil engineer and headed up Telstra Country Wide from mid-2000, prior to which he held the same position in Telstra's Wholesale and International and Carrier Services Businesses.

In addition, during his time at Telstra he has also been in charge of Telstra's Network and Technology and Consumer and Commercial Customer Operations divisions.

Before the merger of Telecom Australia and the Overseas Telecommunications Corporation formed Telstra in early 1992, the executive was also deputy managing director of Telecom Australia. He has also served in his previous home country as president of Canadian National Communications.

Rudd also announced the Tasmanian communities of Smithton, Scottsdale and Midway Point would be the first to receive fibre to the premises broadband connections as part of the NBN roll-out.

Backbone fibre (fibre optic transmission links) will be built along the following five routes:

  • Port Latta to Smithton
  • Cambridge to Midway Point
  • Midway Point to Triabunna
  • George Town to Scottsdale
  • Scottsdale to St Helens

The announcements came as Conroy and Rudd opened what was described as the Aurora Energy and NBN Data Centre, announcement at the opening of the Aurora Energy and National Broadband Network Data Centre.

"The opening of the datacentre coincided with a cable pull through, connecting the datacentre with backbone infrastructure. This is the first piece of NBN cable to be installed in Australia and is a physical demonstration of work commencing on the ground in Tasmania," the statement said.