After dialling my fingers sore last week making calls to people who
might know about the truth of the speculation that Acacia was the
front runner for the National Broadband Network, I received some feedback
that it was definitely the going rumour but that they
wouldn't write a story about it, since there was no real source for the
Everyone is busy reading omens from chicken entrails, and this is exactly what I think this particular piece of speculation is.
Others shook their heads, saying they hadn't heard
anything and some just laughed.
The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, amused as always at the speculation, wasn't
ready to comment.
Next Gen Networks CEO Phil Sykes, whose company is owned by
Leighton, which speculation has put as having a supportive role to the bid Acacia, said his company
wasn't formally engaged with any of the bidders and had not been formally
approached by any of them.
"We all had a bit of a chuckle when we saw it," he told
ZDNet.com.au with regards to the Acacia speculation.
Despite saying that he wouldn't mind if Acacia did build the NBN,
since the SingTel subsidiary could then concentrate on the services it would provide
over the access layer, Optus government and corporate affairs director
Maha Krishnapillai didn't pay the rumour much heed either.
"Last week it was Axia, this week it was Acacia, next week
it'll be Optus," he said.
Acacia naturally won't comment on the truth of the rumours, but
one source said the leaders of the bid were surprised when they
heard of it. Of course, executives can have very good poker
We can't forget Conroy's mention last week of 100 per cent national broadband coverage, as
opposed to his normal 98 per cent line in Senate debate, but
perhaps he was just including the Australian Broadband Guarantee. And adding this little gem to the fact that Acacia does reputedly have the
savvy and the cash as well as other misty factors to create irrefutable proof the company was the winning bidder might be adding one plus two to make 50, as one source said.
One person said he'd received calls from all bidders asking for
the gossip on the others. Translation as far as I'm concerned: no
one knows anything, or if they do they're incredibly good at dissembling.
As Department secretary Patricia Scott said at the ATUG
conference two weeks ago, everyone is busy reading omens from chicken
entrails, and this is exactly what I think this particular piece of
If the speculation turns out to be right, I still think it would have been guesswork rather than someone in the know spilling the beans. With no prior
knowledge, any betting man has a 33.3 per cent chance of winning, which isn't bad.