Telstra ready and able to build NBN - but is it willing?

31 Oct 2008

Telstra is both financially and logistically ready to build Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), but is still yet to commit to placing a bid.

Telstra's group managing director for public policy and communications, David Quilty, said yesterday in a speech that the company had conducted detailed planning and financing.

But during his speech, delivered at the Western Region Telecommunications Forum in Melbourne. , Quilty was careful not to make a commitment.

The closest he came was with the refrain, 'let me assure you that if it is in the interests of our shareholders, Telstra stands ready to build a world-class network.'

Telstra has repeatedly threatened not to bid if the Australian government insists on structural separation.

Assuming Telstra makes a bid, it is very likely to win. The Terria consortium is looking less and less credible as competition, having lost three members in two weeks.

Ovum has rated Terria's chances at winning the bid to be just 15-20%.

But according to Ovum analyst David Kennedy, Telstra's dominance in the bidding process could come back to hurt them.

'Telstra's likelihood of winning the tender seems like a boost, but any perception of a one-horse race will highlight its dominance of fixed communications and will invite tighter regulation of the (NBN),' he said.

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