As the U.S. seeks to elevate its own national broadband image through stimulus and other legislative and regulatory activities, one of the globe's hottest national broadband debates is occurring Down Under. The Australian government has, despite much criticism, continued to tout plans for its National Broadband Network (NBN) project that will use fiber-to-the-premise technology. The role that national incumbent telco Telstra could play in the project has been uncertain, though Telstra's recent naming of a government-friendly CEO was thought to improve its chances to participate in the NBN.
This week Australian broadband minister Stephen Conroy seemed to back up that perception while speaking at the FTTH Council Asia Pacific conference. Light Reading Asia reports that Conroy mentioned Telstra as a possible partner in the NBN, a statement which comes about six months after it appeared Telstra was disqualified from pursuing the project. Conroy also defended the government's decision to use FTTP technology despite the obvious cost disadvantage against options such as mobile broadband.
Telstra appeared to get booted from the NBN in December
David Thodey recently was named Telstra's new CEO