Aussie telco ups ante in nationwide broadband bid

The battle to hang wire for Australia's $4.7 billion national broadband network just got a tad more serious after Australian operator Telstra put up the $5 million bidder's bond required of contenders by the government.

"Today's actions by Telstra put us a step closer to starting work, and put the onus on others to quit complaining and put up their money," Telstra said.

Telstra also provided the government with a mathematical model that other bidders can use to help estimate their costs. Linked to Telstra's cable and plant data, the model allows bidders to estimate costs based on the location of homes and exchanges, pits and pipes, hills, valleys and, well you get the picture.

That info has been a sore point among other bidders, specifically the G9 consortium, led by SingTel Optus, who claims Telstra has an unfair advantage because of a virtual monopoly on crucial information about existing network infrastructure.

For more:
- Read the story in Australia's The Age