The NBN teams: The form before the big match

A look at the players' form

With the first rollout of the National Broadband Network scheduled to see shovels digging in Tasmania in October and the NBNco and TNBNco teams announced it’s time to check their form. There are four major teams in the game and as the big game draws ever nearer their form to date is mixed.

Team NBNCo:

President: Kevin Rudd – We all know who this bloke is but the question is how much influence will he try to swing between the playing field and back to his office? Unknown factor. Form to date: Fair

Coach: Communications Minister Stephen Conroy – The industry often says Conroy “gets it”. That is he understands what needs to be done to push the ICT industry into the future. But the public are ultimately wary of the man who doggedly refuses to talk to the press and has a bad reputation for his decision to go ahead with a contentious Internet filtering trial. Form will depend on the day and who the opposition is. Form: Up and down

Trainer: Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner – Tanner is the form man in the non-playing field after his success in pulling together the biggest change to the way the Federal Government goes about its use and procurement of ICT through the Gershon Review. But how much of an influence he can swing here is questionable. Form: Good skills but not likely to have a big impact

Captain: Michael Quigley – The $2 million dollar man – that is the salary he is going to get. Quigley is a former Alcatel chief operating officer and president, which gives him arguably star status in the NBN teams. He was at Alcatel for 36 years and led the company’s negotiations of the multi-billion dollar merger with Lucent Technologies, before returning to Australia. The team’s performance now rests heavily on his form. Form: Approaching hot and couple of early wins will give him confidence

Doug Campbell – This player is a founding group managing director and key architect of Telstra Country Wide and also the lead man for TNBNco. He has an Order of Australia for his service to the business community and will be an excellent wing man for Quigley if they can learn to read each other’s minds. Campbell was also the chairman of the failed Acacia bid to build the NBN, so has deep familiarity with the playing field. Form: Working into peak form with Tassie getting the first NBN rollout

Peter Hay – As a former chief executive of law firm Freehills, which is a longtime Telstra legal adviser, the government claims Hay would bring a "substantial legal and regulatory experience that will be crucial in establishing and operating NBN Co". Form: Quiet achiever

Siobhan McKenna – McKenna is a former McKinsey partner and we all know that the consulting firm has produced more CEOs than any other company. Form: Has potential but yet to be shown in the ICT field

Diane Smith-Gander – A little over 10 years ago Smith-Gander was head of Westpac's business & technology solutions & services division. But a decade is a long time and ICT changes fast. Form: Good experience but comebacks are never easy

Gene Tilbrook - Tilbrook is a money man after working as a finance director for Wesfarmers from 2005 to 2009. It doesn’t matter what company you are in, having a player that is good with finances is a major plus. Form: Knows where the money is but little ICT experience

Reserves: - There were four public servants that took the field in the warm up stages of the game but have now been benched: Department of Broadband Communications and the Digital Economy first assistant secretary, regional strategy, digital economy and research, James Cameron; Department of Finance and Deregulation, chief audit executive, David Yarra; Australian Government Solicitor corporate secretary Norman Holcroft; and Department of Treasury financial systems division general manager, David Martine. Form: Set up the game for a good start

Team TNBNco:

Coach: Tasmanian Premier David Bartlett - Bartlett has been driving for the Island state to get a fast broadband network since the idea was first flagged. Along with the work of Aurora energy he has successfully made Tassie the first place the NBN will be rolled out. Form: In great touch

Captain: Doug Campbell – See above

Alison Terry – Terry is a former executive director, corporate affairs, at GM Holden, and has expertise in corporate affairs, government relations and management of legal and regulatory exposures as well as experience in financial management, marketing and international business operations. Sounds good from a business perspective but can she translate that experience to success in the ICT industry? Form: Will need to rev it up

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Jody Fassina – Director of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition and Trust and Chairman of the Finance and Audit Committee and brings experience in banking, finance, financial services and taxation issues. Fassina is also an associate director of executive search and government relations specialist Profile Ray & Berndtson. The word is she has close connections to the ALP so this could help as long as they stay in power. Form: Needs to kick some goals to quiet the disbelievers

Greg McCann – McCann is the managing director and principal at Excentor Group of Companies and has close to 25 years experience with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu as a systems integrator specialising in the implementation of enterprise applications. He holds non-executive chairman positions at, and Tel.Pacific. Form: Solid with plenty of industry knowledge to draw on

Team Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy:

Leader: Senator Stephen Conroy – See above

Patricia Scott - Dropped from her position as departmental boss but has taken up a role as full-time commissioner at the Productivity Commission. Form: It doesn’t matter anymore

Peter Harris - Harris has just become the new DBCDE boss and was secretary of the Department of Sustainability and the Environment in Victoria. Form: Untested rookie in this industry

The opposition:

Leader: Malcolm Turnbull – Turnbull hasn’t talked much about the benefits of having an NBN but has focused more on the potential debt the country will be placed into as a result of the plan. Yet, with a low popularity rating and a fractious party at his back his influence on the NBN game to date has been minimal. Form: Struggling to find the ball

Shadow Communications Minister Nick Minchin - Minchin has had a fair crack at knocking the NBN out of the water and done all he can to make sure the public are turned against the plan. But to date he hasn’t stopped the NBN machine from rolling on. Form: Having a good crack but is up against it