NBN Co signs Goldman Sachs, Gov wants advisor too

The company charged with rolling out the National Broadband Network (NBN) has appointed Goldman Sachs as an advisor for its negotiations with Telstra (ASX:TLS).

In December, Telstra, the Federal Government and NBN Co made a joint announcement that the two companies had agreed to Terms of Engagement in their discussions on the NBN with negotiations to continue.

Telstra also said it will upgrade its network to fibre in the Melbourne suburb of Point Cook as a trial and provide resultant data to NBN Co.

The Federal Government is now also looking for an independent advisor to assist with any commercial agreement NBN Co reaches and has opened a tender process.

However, tender documents that outline the role and responsibilities of the required independent expert advisor are only available under a Deed of Confidentiality. Likewise no information was provided on the potential value of any contracts offered in the tender process.

In a separate tender launched this week, the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) said it is looking for a company to provide "Technical Advice and Analysis Services" for the Regional Backbone Blackspots Program.

In late December the Federal Government also released draft amendments to Telecommunications legislation that aims to enable the deployment of optic fibre into greenfields estates that receive approval from July 1, 2010.

The draft legislation – available on the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy website – is titled Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Fibre Deployment) Act 2010 and is the result of a consultation process undertaken earlier in the year.

It proposes several changes to the Telecommunications Act 1997, and the introduction of a new section that says, “If a real estate development project is specified in a legislative instrument made by the Minister, a person must not install a line in the project area unless the line is an optical fibre line”.


Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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