Huawei may be let back in to Aussie NBN

Dylan Bushell-Embling
telecomasia.net
Australia's new communications minister will review the government-imposed ban on Huawei's involvement in the National Broadband Network project.
 
The minister, Senator Malcolm Turnbull, told Fairfax Media he considers Huawei to be a “very credible business” and that he will discuss whether the state-owned NBN Co should be allowed to procure equipment from the vendor.
 
But any decision could take some time to resolve, considering the four separate reviews of the NBN project that have already been scheduled.
 
The recently-ousted former Labor government imposed a ban on Huawei tendering for NBN projects last year citing national security concerns.
 
Because the ban came at a time when US lawmakers were publicly expressing national security concerns over what they alleged were Huwaei's links to the Chinese military, some pundits suggested that the Australian ban may have been more motivated by diplomacy than any security fears. The US House Intelligence Committee subsequently recommended that US operators refrain from buying Huawei equipment
 
Huawei has since embarked on a PR offensive in Australia. Moves included setting up an Australian board and electing some high-profile Australian figures. The company recently revealed its experiment with a local board has been so successful it plans to export the model to other markets.
 
The vendor's efforts to convince Australia and the world that it has had no involvement in surveillance programs from any government appear to be paying off. In any event, the authority of the US and fellow Five Eyes member Australia to weigh in state surveillance has been damaged by the PRISM revelations.

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