G9 to launch FTTN bid as alterego, Terria

The G9 consortium has announced its transformation into a new entity named Terria, ahead of lodging its AU$5 million bond with the government to bid on the national fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) network.

The G9 consortium has announced its transformation into a new entity named Terria, ahead of lodging its AU$5 million bond with the government to bid on the national fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) network.

Terria chairman, former NSW Treasurer, Michael Egan declared that the consortium had unified under the Terria banner, derived from 'Terra Australis', in keeping with its stated aim of providing coverage to 98 percent of Australia's population.

Egan also took the opportunity to call for national competition reform &mdash including further demands for the structural separation of Telstra &mdash saying: "The mistake in the early 1990s was in leaving in place a structure where new telecommunications entrants were left largely at the mercy of the market dominant Telstra."

"Australia can't afford the same mistake being made again which is what will happen if Telstra is allowed to roll out another national network without separating its anti-competitive commercial interests," he continued.

"There's a view that Telstra is in the box seat with this bid. But if you look at what [Communications Minister] Senator Conroy has been saying Telstra is not listening. He's made it clear there will be regulatory and legislative changes," said Egan.

The Terria chairman said that the group has been finalising its own broadband model which structurally separates the vested interests of each individual company, including management, operations and accountability.

Optus, the largest in the former group of nine ISPs &mdash which also includes AAPT, PowerTel, iiNet, Internode, Macquarie Telecom, Primus, Soul and TransAct &mdash also announced yesterday that it would lodge its own, separate AU$5 million bond to bid on the network, should the need arise.

"This doesn't mean Optus is not fully committed to the Terria bid," said Optus director of government and corporate affairs Maha Krishnapillai.

"Optus wants an industry-led bid," he added.

AAP contributed to this article