The G9 consortium of telecoms companies says it is preparing to lodge a bid with the federal Government to build a broadband network for built-up areas. The move follows the government’s announcement last month that it will conduct an open and competitive bidding process and legislate to enable a new high speed broadband network for urban areas. The government also awarded Opel, a joint venture between Optus and Elders, AUD958 million from the Broadband Connect Infrastructure Program to build a wireless internet network in the rural areas. Opel will contribute AUD900 million of its own funds to the network.
‘G9 CEOs have met to consider the government’s announcement and we were unanimous in our view that the G9 should proceed to prepare a bid to build such a network,’ Michael Malone, chief executive of iiNet said in a G9 statement. ‘The details of participation by individual G9 members – for example as equity participants, as launch customers, or as supporters – will be determined as the bid is finalised.’ Macquarie Telecom chief executive David Tudehope said G9 was looking forward to working with the government to ensure the bidding ground rules led to the selection of the proposal which best met both important objectives – the physical availability of a high speed broadband network, and a competitive market structure facilitated by fair access pricing.