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Govt seeks NBN investment advisor

The Department of Broadband Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) is on the hunt for investment advisors to assist it in assessing commercial agreements that the NBN Co may make.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer on

The Department of Broadband Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) is on the hunt for investment advisors to assist it in assessing commercial agreements that the NBN Co may make.

The investment and banking experts sought by the government will advise it on commercial agreements that the government-owned entity charged with building and operating Australia's National Broadband Network, NBN Co, may undertake in the coming months.

The advisors would mirror those already selected by the NBN Co, which according to a December report in The Australian, had settled on Goldman Sachs JBWere (GSJBW) for the role. Although the NBN Co has not confirmed the deal, DBCDE's tender documents today confirmed that the NBN Co had engaged GSJBW for the task.

While Telstra stands as the most important company the NBN Co will need to reach agreements with to kick start the new fibre-to-the-premises network, state governments are also believed to have also commenced auditing network assets in order to vend-in to the NBN.

In late December, the government and Telstra announced it had agreed upon the terms of engagement to transition services off Telstra's copper access network and on to the NBN Co's yet-to-be commenced fibre network.

Specific requirements under today's tender have not been made publicly available and would only be available once bidders sign a deed of confidentiality agreement with the agency.

The tender comes just weeks before consultancies McKinsey and KPMG are scheduled to wrap up the government's $53 million NBN implementation study, due in February. The report, initially intended to cover the NBN Co's operating arrangements, network design and private sector investment, was believed to have been narrowed early on to focus on questions around pricing and industry structure rather than technical details. It is unclear yet whether the government intends to release details of the study.

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