In a statement to the ASX this morning, Telstra has been informed by the Commonwealth government it has excluded them from the National Broadband Network request for proposals evalaution process.

Telstra's Chairman, Donald McGauchie said "The decision to exclude us from the RFP is the Commonwealth's decision to make. But Telstra is the only company to have submitted a proposal with a real financial commitment - of $5 billion. And Telstra is the only company with the existing network, technical know-how, world-leading vendor, skilled workforce, establish wholesale systems and proven track record of building world-class networks."

While Telstra certainly has the existing network and a proven track record of building world class networks such as NextG, they are not the only ones with the technical know-how to deliver a National Broadband Network. I would suggest the other bidders have people just as experienced and capable of building this network as anyone within Telstra. As for the comment regarding "the world leading vendor" this is a slight on companies like NEC, NokiaSiemens and Ericsson (among others) who are just as capable - if not more - in delivering this network as Alcatel (Telstra's preferred vendor).

The skilled workforce McGauchie claims to have is not even their own. Much of the field work for the NBN roll out would have been outsourced to companies like Silcar, Visionstream, ServiceStream and Transfield who in turn use sub-contractors. These companies currently provide Telstra's hands and feet on the ground, it not an internalised workforce and has not been so for many years. As there is no exclusivity or control, if Telstra doesn't have the build these companies or even the sub-contractors will go and work for the company that does.

The telco's submission was rejected from the evaluation process after its 13-page non-compliant bid did not meet requirements to include small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in the construction of the NBN. The office of Communications Minister Stephen Conroy confirmed the telco was out of the running from the bidding process and said the minister will hold a press briefing at 2.30 this afternoon to discuss the issue.

Local telecommunications analyst Paul Budde said the government was forced to ban Telstra to maintain the integrity of the NBN process. "Conroy just had to say 'enough is enough'. He couldn't take Telstra's bullying and so they were banned from the bid".

I'll finish by giving a big wrap to Stephen Conroy and the expert panel for having the strength to stand up to Telstra's arrogance and bullying. Perhaps now we can get on with delivering a world class network that Australia needs without the shackles of incumbency.


At 15 December, 2008 15:35 Kris said...

Oh, this is just too good. :)


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