$8b fibre plans a PIPEdream

PIPE Networks will not bid on the National Broadband Network.

PIPE Networks has debunked speculation that it will bid for the National Broadband Network (NBN) and launched a scathing attack on the government's fibre network plans.

CEO Bevan Slattery said the $8 billion costing of the NBN is well below realistic figures. He put the cost of backhaul to the proposed 98 percent of Australia served by the NBN at $20.6 billion.

"Our analysis of the real cost to deliver on the government's FttN requirements has consistently been far higher than the $8.7billion figure bandied about by government and prospective bidders," Slattery said.

"Add to this regulatory uncertainty risk to the business process and we see no benefit to our shareholders in terms of reasonable long term returns on investment."

Slattery openly criticised the NBN plans last month for its lack of policy on regulation and costing.

He said the tender documents have "all the buzz-words, but no substance" and claimed the plans were prepared by a "23 year-old university student".

The RFP is a marketing ploy rather than a plan for a national fibre network, according to Slattery, because "expediency has replaced effectiveness".

He called on bidders to boycott the RFP until more details are etched out.

So far Telstra, SingTel, Macquarie Telecom, TransACT and Terria, formally the G9 consortium, have placed the $5 million bond to secure access to network infrastructure data, required to formulate proposals for the NBN.

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