Welcome to the first edition of Deacons' National Broadband
Network Update. The NBN will change the face of Australian
telecommunications and will impact businesses far beyond the
telecommunications sector. The NBN is a massive project and we
propose to issue the NBN Update regularly to give you a concise
summary of what is happening.
If you would like to read the NBN story from the beginning, Nick
Abrahams' Sydney Morning Herald column on the first
three months of NBN progress can be found here – Why the NBN is bigger than Ben Hur. The
progress of the NBN since July is set out below:
The NBN Co. Executive Chairman and CEO is Mike Quigley, who
served as President and COO during his 35 years at Alcatel, mostly
overseas. Mr Quigley was involved in building a residential fibre
network for AT&T in the US.
The Tasmanian NBN Co. Chairman is Doug Campbell, who was the
founder and long-time Group Managing Director of Telstra Country
The NBN Co. Board members are Doug Campbell, Peter Kay (former
Freehills CEO), Siobhan McKenna (former McKinsey partner and
Productivity Commission Commissioner), Diane Smith-Gander (former
McKinsey partner and ex-Westpac executive) and Gene Tilbrook
(former Wesfarmers executive).
Further appointments to the NBN Co. staff are Tim Smeallie
(former telecommunications analyst) as Head of Commercial Strategy,
Kevin Brown (ex-QANTAS) as Corporate Services Manager and Christie
Bryce (ex-McKinsey) as Policy Adviser to Mr Quigley.
New legislation was introduced into Parliament last week which,
if enacted, allows Telstra to provide a voluntary undertaking to
the ACCC for a structural separation of its retail and wholesale
business. If Telstra chooses not to structurally separate, the
government may impose a strong functional separational framework on
Telstra will be prevented from acquiring any additional
spectrum for advanced wireless broadband while it remains:
a vertically integrated company;
owns a hybrid fibre coaxial cable network; and
retains its 50% interest in Foxtel.
However, if Telstra provides an
undertaking to structurally separate, the Government may remove
either or both of the second and third requirements.
The Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (National
Broadband Network Measures No. 1) Bill 2009
Senator Conroy has introduced the Telecommunications
Legislation Amendment (National Broadband Network Measures No. 1)
Bill 2009 which requires companies to provide confidential
information to the Government about telecommunications
infrastructure in the context of a broadband telecommunications
The Bill allows providers to stop providing confidential
information to the Government 10 years after the Bill is passed.
The Bill does not contain a provision to compensate organisations
for the cost of providing the required information.
There have been considerable concerns raised about the Bill and
the NBN generally in the Senate. The Bill cannot pass into
legislation until debated and passed by the Senate. Last month the
Senate, eager to consider the NBN project from a broader
perspective, passed an order for the Government to table the
reports which led to the cancellation of the original tender
process for the NBN.
Tasmania, black spots and regional plans
Currently, trenches are being dug and conduits to house the
fibre optic cable are being laid at sites around Tasmania with the
fibre backbone cabling to be in place by Christmas in the following
regional towns in Tasmania – Smithton, Midway Point and
The first to receive funding from the $250 million blackhaul
black spots project are Emerald and Longreach in Queensland,
Geraldton in Western Australia, Broken Hill in NSW, Victor Harbor
in South Australia, South West Gippsland in Victoria and
Tenders for the black spots project closed on 5 August 2009.
The results of this tender have not yet been announced.
Still to be decided
The location of the base city for NBN Co. – New South
Wales, Queensland and Victoria appear to be the strongest
candidates at this time.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
The issue of recording telephone calls was recently considered in the Federal Court in Furnari v Ziegert  FCA 1080.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).