Broadband bidders slam lax fibre tender

Industry issues a Request for Policy.

The Optus-led G9 consortium will re-submit its $3.6 billion FttN plan after a redraft to comply with Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) recommendations.

Under the new proposal, dubbed the Special Access Undertaking (SAC), capital cities will be the first to receive fibre with speeds up to 24Mbps. Priority will be given to regional areas which do not currently receive ADSL.

The ACCC [[xref:http://www.optus.com.au/portal/site/aboutoptus/menuitem.813c6f701cee5a14f0419f108c8ac7a0/?vgnextoid=edeb9646d86e6110VgnVCM10000029867c0aRCRD&vgnextchannel=daf6d7ef03820110VgnVCM10000029867c0aRCRD |rejected|new]] the G9 proposal late last year because of issues pertaining access prices, product roadmaps, and non-price access conditions.

Telstra would build an open-access FttN network delivering 100Mbps over a mix of fibre and Very High Speed Digital Subscriber Line (VDSL).

Shadow communications minister Bruce Billson criticized the RFP and called for a stronger binding document.

"There is also clause in the RFP stating that this is not a process contract. The Minister can't have it both ways [because] these documents are either binding or they're not," Billson said.

"If a non-compliant bid is successful, the Minister could face a legal challenge and compensation claim from compliant bidders."

Conroy told industry figures last week that the department will accept non-complying bids and said bidders can "put forward a bid in any structure".

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Darren Pauli

Computerworld
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