TERRiA reunites, calls for a competitive NBN

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TERRiA reunites, calls for a competitive NBN

ISPs issue a call to arms.

The chief executives of several Australian telecommunication companies have reunited to call for a "pro-competitive" approach to upgrading Australia's national broadband infrastructure.

The telcos, under the name of TERRiA Access Seekers Association (TASA), include iiNet, Internode, Macquarie Telecom, Primus Telecom, Netspace and Optus.

The group said its aim is to improve competition in the Australian telecomunication industry.

The group had previously made a bid for the National Broadband Network (NBN) towards the end of 2008, but has remained silent since the Federal Government abandoned its NBN mark 1 bidding process.

"We never really parted ways, but I guess we became dormant for a while whilst the Government went through setting up their own processes and the NBN organisation," TASA's chairman and Primus Telecom CEO Ravi Bhatia told iTnews.

Bhatia said that its members had "a lot of experience between them and it's an opportunity to funnel that experience to NBNCo.

"I think [NBN Co] is putting together its plans now and I think this is the right time for us to be able to provide operators and access seekers insight to NBN on all sorts of matters be it policy, regulatory or technical processes."

The companies involved said they had been "spurred to action by the amount of misinformation currently being reported about the National Broadband Network."

"I think it's a once in a life time opportunity for the Government to do it right," Bhatia said. "Clearly we made a lot of mistakes the last time around ... and now we will learn from that experience. That's the intention - to help the Government and NBN Co to do it right."

Bhatia also said that he wanted to squash uncertainty and speculation surrounding the NBN.

"There has been a lot of speculation surrounding the National Broadband Network. What the government has done is defined that it will deliver 100 megabits per second to X number of premises using, where possible, FTTP-based technology. It has set those broad objectives. It has also set an estimated cost of $43 billion dollars," Bhatia said.

"Based on that there has been some very strong criticism - some doubts about commercial viability and so on. Personally, I don't see how this can be criticised in any way because all of the objectives and outcomes of NBN have been decided or stated. These are very, very early days to be giving any criticism of it."

The group said it would be "extending an invitation to other access seekers to join the organisation that share our goal of an open and competitive NBN."

The Federal Government is expected to publish its views on the amendments to the current regulatory regime this week.

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