According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Australian incumbent Telstra has still not decided whether it will bid for right to build the national broadband network (NBN). Telstra CEO, Sol Trujillo, is reported to have said, ‘We will make the appropriate decision on the day that the bids and responses are due. We’ve asked for some clarification from the government in terms of their intentions, and so we’re waiting for a response which will help us in terms of the determinations that the board will make.’ It is understood that Telstra may not bid for the NBN tender if functional or structural separation of Telstra was a pre-condition, although Mr Trujillo would not confirm whether the operator would refuse to bid if the government insisted on regulated pricing.
Bids for the NBN are due by 26 November 2008, and the federal government has set aside AUD4.7 billion (USD3.38 billion) to help fund the rollout of the new infrastructure. Telstra has estimated that the cost of building the NBN could be as high as AUD15 billion and it is understood that the operator would look for an 18% return on its investment should it bid and win.