The NBN's final countdown

The Federal Government is demanding that final bids for Australia's national broadband network (NBN) be lodged by tomorrow, Wednesday 26 November.

The last few weeks have been interesting times. Telstra, once considered a shoe-in for the job, has threatened not to bid if the Government doesn't budge with its insistence on separating the company's wholesale and retail businesses.

There seems little chance of Telstra agreeing to this though, as chief executive Sol Trujillo recently labelled the proposed separation as "stupid" and said that "shareholders should shoot management" if they ever agreed to such a proposal.

Further adding some drama to the occasion was the Telstra board recently approving Trujillo's $13.4 million salary package — not bad work if you can get it, eh?

The NBN process was shaken up even further yesterday, when Canadian company Axia Netmedia confirmed it would also be lodging a bid. The company claims it has built a similar network in the province of Alberta, in Canada.

The other major player is the Optus-led Terria consortium — Telstra's main rivals in the bidding war.

Telstra critics claim the company is intending to monopolise the broadband market by gaining complete control of telecommunications in Australia. They would then be able to continue to offer exorbitantly expensive prices. Well, someone has to pay Sol's salary, right?

At the other end of the scale, the Terria consortium has come under some scrutiny for attempting to show that they are bidding in the public interest, rather than their own self-interest. And really, who can blame anyone for being slightly suspicious when a businessperson declares they are acting in the public interest?

A more pressing issue is time. One of the Rudd Governments main election promises was to have the NBN reach 98 per cent of the population, offer a minimum speed of 12Mbps and be built within five years. Unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, it's already behind schedule — the tender process for bids was originally supposed to be completed back in June.

Here were are almost at Christmas, and the "bidding war" is still going.

Is anyone surprised?

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?