Press Release.

The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, today released draft instruments setting out the network information that carriers are to provide for the National Broadband Network project, and the rules to safeguard the information.

“The release of these instruments is an important step forward to ensure National Broadband Network proponents can prepare robust proposals ,” Senator Conroy said.

“The Government has always been committed to ensuring that proponents have access to necessary network information in order to prepare their proposals.”

“The scope of network information to be provided has been prepared following consultation with proponents, as well as advice from our specialist expert advisers and relevant Government agencies.”

“Based on this independent expert advice, the Government is of the view that the information set proposed is sufficient for the preparation of robust proposals.”

“The seriousness with which we have approached this task demonstrates our commitment to a genuinely competitive process for the NBN. Our approach can be contrasted with the previous government’s broadband process last year which did not propose to make any network information available to proponents,” Senator Conroy said.

The Government has decided to request the network information from carriers under legislative provisions recently introduced into the Telecommunications Act 1997.

“In previous consultations carriers have indicated that they are prepared to provide information voluntarily. The Government’s approach still provides carriers with an opportunity to submit voluntarily, but also ensures that all relevant information will be provided within clear timeframes,” Senator Conroy said.

The Government will now consult with carriers on the draft instruments. Following careful consideration of their submissions the Government will be moving to make a decision about final instruments expeditiously.

Once network information is provided to proponents, they will have 12 weeks to finalise their proposals. This will mean proposals will now be received towards the end of 2008.

“This extra time will ensure that proponents have the information required to develop their proposals.”


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