At a 'State of the Industry' roundtable round table last week, Telecom Analyst Paul Budde labelled the NBN a failure and acused the government of 'failing to show leadership'.

Telecommunications infrastructure investment through a National Broadband Network (NBN) will help Australia weather the economic crisis, putting us in a strong position in the Global Digital Economy. But this is only going to occur if the ACCC and the Government can pull their heads out of the sand and get the NBN players co-operating.

“[Telecommunications] infrastructure is perhaps the most important infrastructure that needs to be deployed if we want to pull out of the crisis and move forward to a digital economy…telecommunications is not the solution to the financial crisis, or the education or energy problems, but none of these problems can be solved without telecommunications and IT,” Budde said.

Budde further went on to say, "It’s a shame and very sad that this government is failing to show leadership. It has now been a year and the government has done absolutely nothing, they are sitting on their bums hiding themselves behind the tendering process which is totally flawed and not going to work. Nothing has happened in the last three years.”

I too have been saying for some time the government's time lines on the NBN were never going to be met. As we have seen the tender has already been extended by 5 months, evaluation and recommendations will take another 3 months (at least) and then 6 months of contract negotiation. There is also most likely going to be legislative change, which could add another 6-12 months to make its way through parliament. Not even considering any legal injunctions from disgruntled losers, the NBN will not be starting before December 2009.

Shadow Communications Minister Nick Minchin, said to "a preferred bidder would likely be nominated [early next year], but there would likely be no signature on a contract for another 12 months". "No bidder is going to sign off on a contract until they know what the changes to the regulatory environment will be"


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