According to Reuters, Australian incumbent Telstra has had its bid to build the National Broadband Network (NBN) rejected by the government panel responsible for assessing all proposals. It is understood that the rejection was based on a technicality, with the panel stating that Telstra’s bid failed to include any measures for involving small and medium business in the project. Telstra chief executive Sol Trujillo has however claimed that the incumbent could still be in the running for the project, saying, ‘It is too early to rule anything in or out, and we remain hopeful that sense will prevail outside the RFP (request for proposal) process at a later date.’ Telstra has previously claimed it is the only company that would be able to fund the network rollout, promising to match the government’s pledge of AUD4.7 billion (USD3.1 billion) for the project.
The rejection of Telstra’s proposal leaves three bidders that have nationwide proposals still under consideration; Optus, which has bid through its new subsidiary Optus Network Investments (ONI); consortium Acacia; and Canada’s Axia Netmedia. TransACT and the Tasmanian government have both submitted plans that only cover their state or territory.