Consortium shareholders include Solomon Lew, Seek founders Paul Bassat, Andrew Bassat and Matthew Rockman, and Australian Broadcasting Corporation director Steven Skala with former Telstra No 2 executive Doug Campbell heading up this group of wealthy businessmen.
Doug Campbell maintains Australian broadband users would be best served by having a new network separate from the retail operations of the existing players and Acacia could build the network more cheaply than its rivals as it is free of existing networks and systems. He says Acacia offers ‘a fresh start’.
Interesting points in the bid are:
Doug Campbell explains:
“The impetus for the bid was Kevin Rudd’s 20/20 Summit, from which Acacia members came away concerned at the prospect of Telstra gaining the contract to build the national broadband network..
We’d like to see an Australian company that can offer these services as a host-only type of organisation providing a utility-type structure which would give to Australia cheaper, faster, high-speed broadband and a greater choice of retail services by others on that network…
The cost of satellites to service the 2 per cent the Government did not specify had to be covered by the national broadband network would be averaged out over Australia, making it affordable for the 2 per cent.”
Telstra chief financial officer John Stanhope doubts the ability of wireless broadband to make up the 8 per cent gap between Telstra’s 90 per cent pledge and the Government’s preference for 98 per cent coverage. He says users would not stand for the variance in quality that characterised wireless.
A new unencumbered organisation and a different approach sounds attractive…