blog Internode chief Simon Hackett has revealed to the Financial Review newspaper that he expects the Coalition to win the next Federal election and cancel the National Broadband Network; an event which could potentially result in Internode becoming a public company and rolling out its own fibre infrastructure.
Click here for the full article, which is available if you have an AFR subscription.
Many in Australia’s political arena currently expect the Coalition to sweep to victory in the next Federal election, due to be held in 2013, based on currently bad polling for Julia Gillard’s incumbent Labor team. Under current Coalition telecommunications policy, a Coalition Government would pause the NBN while it awaited the results of a cost/benefit analysis into how best to serve Australia’s future broadband needs. It is also likely the NBN project as a whole will be reined in.
And If the NBN was cancelled, Hackett adds in a tantalising comment quoted by the AFR:
“If the NBN stops, there are clear avenues to go out and build fibre networks and then the case for listing is much stronger.”
I’ve conducted several financial analyses of Internode over the past few months, and there is no doubt the company is in a strong financial position. A listing on the Australian Stock Exchange would generate a boatload of investment capital for the company and provide substantial options for infrastructure investment.
But fibre? Fibre’s pretty expensive. I would estimate that if Internode did decide to roll out its own fibre infrastructure around Australia, it would need to do so in partnership with a number of other companies — perhaps Optus, iiNet and maybe TPG. Otherwise, I simply cannot see a widescale fibre rollout being economical for the company. It would be very interesting to know more about what Hackett is appearing to imply with this comment.
Image credit: Internode