I am sure many of you have already seen the news that the NBN bids are all in.

As I predicted in my last post there were four national bidders in Telstra, Optus Axia, and Acacia. On top of this there is also the state bids from the Aurora Energy/Tasmanian Government (TAS) and TransACT (ACT). The only bit I got wrong was TERRiA did not bid - perhaps not a surprise considering the loss of support from AAPT, Soul/TPG, TransACT and Powertel.

Two weeks ago I posted an article were I said my money was on Acacia to win the NBN. Someone posted a comment that I was likely to lose my money (or my job) over this, but I think given the situation many factors have changed.

Firstly Telstra have failed to submit a conforming bid and despite Senator Conroy's protests, tender guidelines require conforming bids are assessed first and if one bid meets the requirements, that must be taken over any non conforming bid. Telstra's bid may very well never be considering unless the government wants to break its own rules - and potentially end up in court.

TERRiA failed to submit a bid instead, falling in being Optus Network Infrastructure (a Singtel/Optus company formed just for the NBN) and supporting their proposal and business model. Terria revealed details of its proposal last week. It costed the network at about $15 billion and said this would buy 75,224 nodes, two satellites, 1360 new wireless base stations and 100,000km of fibre.

Acacia however has finally shown its hand and has bid a truely open access network with a mix of technology including FTTH, FTTN and Wireless - exactly the approach I have been espousing for the past 8 months. They have a clear separation between the operator of the infrastructure and the many retailers of services that run over that infrastructure - the key to open access which Telstra is refusing to consider with their objection to structural seperation. They have also pledged a fair return for owners of existing assets for use of their facilities, so they are happy to co-exist with existing networks.

So we now sit tight over Christmas for the "expert panel" to evaluate the bids within 6 weeks, which makes it the 7th of January for a decision date. Looks like the expert panel and their team of technical, commerical and legal advisors are not having Christmas this year.


At 26 November, 2008 22:46 Anonymous said...

I would love to see a provider that can offer FFTH and FTTN for a reasonable price though....

I think an International player is a better idea then using the guys we have at the moment.
There are so many companies in the US and Europe that have shown how ISP infrastructure should be done.


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