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Monday, 08 November 2010 22:22

NBN Co business plan handed to Gov't


The NBN Company today confirmed it had delivered its much-anticipated corporate plan to the Federal Government, detailing how it will build the $43 billion National Broadband Network, and the prices it will charge for its use.


NBN Co said the corporate plan, which outlines its corporate objectives and the business model it will use to achieve those objectives, had been delivered to the company's shareholder two ministers, Finance Minister Penny Wong and Communications Minister Stephen Conroy.

A spokeswoman for Senator Conroy said the corporate plan would be released "shortly" - after commercially sensitive or in-confidence information had been removed - after Cabinet colleagues had been briefed on its contents.


It is understood the NBN Company corporate plan needs to be considered by Government before it releases its formal response to the $25 million KPMG-McKinsey Implementation Study, which is expected by the end of the month.


Departmental advice to Communications Minister Stephen Conroy delivered after the election released through a Freedom of Information request - the so-called red book incoming Government advice - acknowledged a growing divide between NBN Company plans and the recommendations of the Implementation Study.


The advice, which said the NBN project was at "a critical juncture," and that the Government's implementation response could have a big impact on fundamental network design, as well as pricing.


"NBN Co needs to settle key network design and architecture decisions, including product and pricing specifications, to maintain momentum," the DBCDE advice said.


"NBN is aware that the Government is still considering its response to the Implementation Study and that decisions on matters including uniform national pricing, future functional or structural separation of NBN Co's assets and business activities, and protection from competitors cherry picking lucrative fibre roll-out areas, could have major implications on the design, operations and timing for the construction of the NBN.


"Industry is also keenly awaiting the Government's response to the Implementation Studv."


It is not clear how much of the NBN Co corporate plan will be made public, although Senator Conroy assured senate colleagues at an Estimates hearing last month that they would be 'very satisfied' with the amount of detail that would be made public.


"A whole range of information within the business plan will be made available," Senator Conroy told the committee. 'There may be some issues that are commercial-in-confidence or that could be reverse engineered that perhaps NBN Co does not want to be reverse engineered, but I am sure you will be very satisfied with the information that will be provided.'


Senator Conroy would "brief my cabinet colleagues and information will be available reasonably soon after that."


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