To say former Telstra boss, Sol Trujillo, and Communications minister, Stephen Conroy, didn’t get along is an understatement of epic proportions.
Yes, Egon Zehnder has been awarded a tender worth $79,000 to find three to seven board members for the National Broadband Network in less than 26 days.
Needless to say, this is not a simple task. The NBN will stretch far and wide, linking surf and turf throughout Australia. Over 90 per cent of the population will need access to a fibre-to-the-home (FttH) broadband network and it’ll cost a truckload of money.
To help Egon Zehnder on its way, we’ve picked seven of the best minds on offer as candidates for the NBNco board. Some have come from an unconventional background, and others barely have a background at all, but their combined expertise will surely result in a unique broadband experience.
The CandidatesShane Warne
As one of the world’s greatest spinners, Shane Warne is an automatic shoe-in for external communications. With his “Yeah yeah” attitude and abundance of “to-the-home” experience throughout Australia and abroad, Warnie is sure to be a top order pick. And he knows how to send a decent txt message across our own and international networks...
David William Hughes
David William Hughes, better known as “Hughesy”, is a force to be reckoned with. His angry rants against any and all comers strike fear into the biggest of men, but it’s his ability to stream abuse with emerging technologies like Twitter that makes him a solid choice for the NBN.
When it comes to making a ton of dosh out of almost nothing, Richard Branson is king. His music empire remains profitable amid a sea of Internet pirates and his airlines keep expanding as competitors go bankrupt. He’s got the gall to launch a British airline that travels to America and call it Australian and the skill to actually sell the venture successfully. So if anyone can make the NBN turn a profit, it’s him.
When the Howard government released Web-filtering software as part of an $84 million scheme, it knew that meddling kids would eventually get around it. For Tom Woods, a 16-year old Victorian schoolboy, “eventually” meant 30 minutes. When an updated patch was finally produced he side-stepped it in just 40 minutes. Now it’s time for this media-savvy security wunderkind to help secure Australia’s NBN and make sure its security mechanisms can’t be bypassed in less time than it takes to bake a cake.
Described by many Liberal party supporters as, “The greatest Prime Minister we never had”, Peter Costello is a well-connected public figure with an in-depth knowledge of how Australia’s government works. While it’s true he has plenty of enemies from all sides of society, that’s par for the course when it comes to board members. Plus, he could always write the NBN memoirs if things go down the drain.
Paris Hilton is a brand-maker par excellence. Sure, plenty of people have been caught doing naughty things on video – but few are able to turn this notoriety into global fame and fortune. The NBN – it’s so hot right now and a little Paris lovin' could never hurt.
Love him or loathe him, Sol Trujillo left a significant impact on the telco landscape of Australia. If you’re after a man that can unite opinions (mostly against him) then Trujillo is the leader of choice. Plus we hear he’s looking for a job and we know if he takes the chair, NBNco will at least be in the news aplenty.
So who would you put onto the future NBN board? Anyone and anything can hop aboard the Fibre-Train, and there’s a strong possibility your suggestion will be better than the above, so leave a comment and share your thoughts on the future of Australia’s broadband.