Government seeks advisor for renegotiation of Telstra-NBN Co deal

Request for tender closes November 11

As the NBN Co conducts its strategic review, the Commonwealth has put out a call for a commercial and strategic advisor.

The advisor will provide the government “with commercial advice in relation to implementing revised arrangements between Telstra, NBN Co and the Commonwealth,” according to a request for tender released 1 Nov.

The tender, which was short on other details, closes next Monday at 2pm.

The modification of the NBN plan by the Coalition government depends on renegotiation of the $11 billion agreement between Telstra and the Labor government.

Telstra agreed to migrate its customers to the NBN and decommission its copper network, as well as allow NBN Co access to its pits, pipes and ducts.

The government has commissioned a 60-day review of NBN Co, which will include analysis of the progress and cost of the NBN rollout and NBN Co’s financial and operational status. The review is due for submission to the government for consideration by December 2.

The government plans to detail its new plan in a statement of expectations that will be released after the review is completed. The Coalition issued an interim statement of expectations last month to provide construction and operating guidance to the NBN Co during the audit.

A possible complication to renegotiation of the NBN contract is a dispute between Telstra and NBN Co over when consumer price index (CPI) adjustments apply to the parties’ contract. The NSW Supreme Court will hear the case this Friday.

Telstra has said the timing of the court action has nothing to do with renegotiation of the contract, "although resolving this disagreement will help provide greater certainty and as such may assist future policy discussions.”

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