A recruitment firm for the National Broadband Network (NBN) said there is a shortage of cablers to connect apartments to the network.
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The Joint Commitee on the National Broadband Network (NBN) is likely to ask Syntheo to front up to another hearing after the construction company failed to appear before the committee on Friday, said independent MP Rob Oakeshott.
Malcolm Turnbull has indicated the Coalition would implement changes at the management and board level of NBN Co if it wins the federal election.
NBN Co chief, Mike Quigley, has been forced to issue a statement regarding the bribery case by US authorities against Alcatel-Lucent, following reports of discrepancies between his public statements about his former employer and US court documents.
In December 2010, Alcatel-Lucent agreed to make payments of more than $US137 million to settle bribery cases concerning allegations about the sales activities of French telecommunications giant Alcatel from the 1990s through its 2006 merger with Lucent Technologies.
Alcatel-Lucent and three of its subsidiaries, Alcatel CIT, Alcatel de Costa Rica and Alcatel Standard agreed to pay a penalty of $92 million in settlement of cases brought by the Department of Justice (DOJ) under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The companies voluntarily agreed to stop using third-party sales and marketing agents to conduct worldwide business — a business model, the DOJ said, that was prone to corruption as the third parties acted as conduits for bribes to customers and officials in many countries.
According to the DOJ, the three Alcatel-Lucent subsidiaries made improper payments to officials to win deals in Costa Rica, Honduras, Malaysia and Taiwan.
On December 31, 2010, Alcatel-Lucent issued a statement ruling out any involvement by Quigley or NBN Co chief financial officer, Jean-Pascal Beaufret, in the case.
“In its investigations, Alcatel-Lucent found no evidence that either Mr Quigley or Mr Beaufret had any involvement in, or knowledge of the actions of the former Alcatel or its subsidiaries' employees that are outlined in the allegations presented by the US Department of Justice or the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with Monday's announcements," the statement said.
It has come to light, however, that Costa Rica was part of Quigley’s portfolio. In a statement, the NBN Co chief issued the following rebuttal.
“I have today been advised by Alcatel-Lucent that, contrary to previous advice, Costa Rica was among the many countries and territories in North, Central and South America that were part of my wide-ranging portfolio of responsibilities in the period March 2001 to January 2003, including operations involving approximately 15,000 staff.
“This, however, does not change the fact that I was not involved in any of these matters as is evident by the fact that in the course of their thorough investigation, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the US Department of Justice did not seek to interview me nor did they make an adverse finding in relation to me.
"I don’t intend to comment further on this matter as it is the subject of ongoing legal proceedings in the US, to which I am not a party.”
NBN Co chief executive, Mike Quigley, has played down the current controversy surrounding his former employer, Alcatel-Lucent’s, recent $US137 million settlement for bribery cases brought by US authorities.
NBN Co chief executive Mike Quigley is becoming clearer on the costs involved in the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN), confirming A$27 billion as a “precise” peak government injection equity figure. However, the former Alcatel-Lucent chief operations officer told Computerworld Australia that NBN Co’s business case was yet to be finalised or delivered to Government.
Quigley’s new stance, revealed at a recent Australian Computer Society event, comes just a week after he told an Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) lunch that government equity would be “south of $30 billion”.
“Our business case requires equity funding by the Government of around $27 billion,” Quigley told the ACS. “This is not the total capital costs, as we expect to raise debt, without Government guarantees, of at least $10 billion.”
Quigley said that, in addition to government equity and debt funding, internal revenue generation from active parts of the network would also play a part.
However, given the NBN Co is currently leasing access to its wholesale fibre network at reduced rates, it remains unknown whether its internal revenue is enough to pay back equity, leaving the total cost of the NBN rollout closer to $37 billion than the $43 billion initially proposed.
Quigley wouldn’t reveal how much less the rollout would cost if its $9 billion deal with Telstra is finalised next year, but said it would be “quite a deal to the overall business case”.
The $27 billion peak government injection figure is just a billion more than stipulated in the NBN Implementation Study, authored by consultants at KPMG and McKinsey & Company, and released in May. The study found the Government would reach its peak equity injection by 2015, with expectations that NBN Co would be able to repay as much as $20 billion of the injection by 2024.
Though Quigley appears more comfortable with the new equity injection figure, he told media that the business case was not completely finished, and that it would only be delivered to Government once NBN Co has the opportunity to integrate the Government’s finalised response of the implementation study into the case.
“We never finish the business case,” he said. “Our business case is constantly updated as we get more information, we just keep tuning it and honing it. As you would expect, if the Telstra deal is consummated, that makes quite a deal to the overall business case.”
Australian Communications minister Stephen Conroy told a Senate estimates hearing earlier this year that the business case would remain commercial in confidence, and would not be released to the public.