The revived TERRiA telco consortium’s recruitment plans may be stifled as several Internet service providers (ISPs) have refused to join the group.
Although re-branding itself TERRiA Access Seekers Association (TASA) early this week, the group was originally established in 2006 when a number of Telstra rivals banded together to compete for the National Broadband Network (NBN) tender.
Persistent infighting caused some members to bow out and Optus was left to submit a bid on behalf of the consortium. All tender offers were subsequently dropped after the Federal Government decided in April to build the $43 billion network internally.
The consortium has opened its doors to other access seekers wanting to join the cause and has extended an invitation to old comrades AAPT and TPG-Soul. But recruitment may prove difficult with AAPT, which withdrew from TERRiA late last year, confirming that it has no plans to join the TASA. TPG-Soul was unable to comment at the time of publication.
Fellow ISP, Exetel, refused to join TASA and labelled it an “industry pressure group”. “Apart from Exetel being a tiny company with no power or influence – and no misplaced view of its knowledge or importance – the concept is distasteful to Exetel owners,” Exetel corporate sales manager, James Linton, said.
Meanwhile, Adam Internet has expressed interest in becoming a part of TASA but has yet to receive an invitation.
“We contacted them when they were quite active during the NBN tender process but, at the time, they had a fair bit on their plate and never gave us an offer to be part of the group,” Adam Internet managing director, Scott Hicks, said.
TASA’s re-emergence has been marked by a big shake-up of the telco industry. The groups renewed calls for a competitive telco market structure in preparation for the NBN were answered by the Federal Government’s new reforms legislation that will force Telstra to structurally separate.
The bill will also benefit smaller telco players in the industry.
TASA chairman and Primus Telecom CEO, Ravi Bhatia, said the group was heartened by the long overdue changes.
It hoped the government would move quickly to implement the reforms, which will be debated in Parliament in the coming weeks.
The consortium is eager to participate in the NBN process.