According to reports, Telstra has thrown its hat into the ring to build the fibre-to-node broadband network by lodging a $5 million bidder’s bond with the federal government.
This decision to join the tender process for the network is the first salvo in what analysts say will be a long and protracted battle with the rival Optus-led G9 consortium as to who be the preferred builder of the National Broadband Network (NBN).
However, recent reports make it unclear as to whether the G9 consortium is really serious about building this network, as it has been quite apparent over the years that Optus’ parent company, SingTel, has been quite reluctant to invest on a large scale in the local market.
The ball now is now firmly in the federal government’s court and business commentators have noted that any delayed decision by communications minister Senator Stephen Conroy would suit the G9 group more so than Telstra as it gives them more time to develop a more politically palatable tender for the Rudd government.
Moreover, analysts have said the NBN investment will have a very short pay back time, so the longer it takes before the NBN decision is made, the better it will be from the G9 perspective.