TPG-Soul quits Optus led-Terria consortium — is this the end of G9?

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The Optus led Terria consortium has been given another blow after TPG-Soul will leave the group after AAPT announced a similar move eight days ago. Because of this, the consortium’s final six members – iiNet, Internode, Optus, Macquarie Telecom, Primus and TransACT – to bid on the new national broadband network.

Terria was previously known as the G9 consortium, because it had nine members – the six mentioned plus AAPT, PowerTel and Soul. PowerTel was then bought by AAPT, while Soul’s parent company SP Telemedia merged with TPG.

AAPT left after it was reluctant to commit financially with the NBN project, and it is understood to be the same reason why TPG-Soul left the group. Now, it leaves me wondering if the entire consortium could collapse as it would not have enough funds to commit to the network; as if Terria would get the bid, it would see Optus fund most of the investment into the network.

Telstra is expected to make a bid, but it could be a one-man’s race, as Telstra has said that it would not bid unless the restriction of having it operationally separated from the winner has been lifted.