The company responsible for the rollout of the Labor Government’s National Broadband Network, NBN Co, has all but frozen new operations. It comes after the company was given a $300 million equity injection.
The story was originally featured in the Sydney Morning Herald. According to a spokesperson for NBN Co, the company will continue to operate and plan new operations using existing funds.
“[NBN Co] will seek to minimise any discretionary expenditure,” the spokesperson said in an email. “NBN Co will not award any new significant contracts, or issue any new significant RCSs or Requests for proposals [RFPs].
“Where appropriate NBN Co will postpone or suspend significant existing tender processes during the post-election phase, while in parallel extending current in-progress tender responses and decisions deadlines for the same period.”
The spokesperson said the response period for industry comment on a range of issues would be extended and that all employee interviews were suspended. While formal job offers already made must be kept, no new offers will be made.
The $300 million was provided by the Government prior to the calling of the election, and therefore did not break caretaker conventions. According to NBN Co, it was for operational expenditure.
The move to freeze operations leaves suppliers and other companies in a state of tendering limbo. It also raises questions as to negotiations with Telstra and whether or not they can proceed.
NBN Co CEO, Mike Quigley, raised the ire of Coalition politicians during the election for his proactive endorsement of the Government’s broadband scheme and dismissal of the Opposition’s methods.