When the Meander Valley Council in Tasmania commissioned a quote from NBN for fibre to the premises (FTTP) upgrades in three of its towns, it expected to receive more detail than “could have been arrived at with publicly available information”.
Two two-page reports, a map of the proposed connection area, a paragraph with details about the charges, “general information” and a fee estimate confidentiality clause cost the council $10,000 to obtain, and now it wants its money back.
“For the price that we had to pay it seems extremely unreasonable,” said Meander Valley mayor Craig Perkins. “It should be quite clear how they came to that conclusion, so we can understand and explain it to our ratepayers, and that detail wasn’t there.”
The Meander Valley Council obtained quotes for the Westbury, Hagley and Hadspen “in order to begin a process that may have led to council funding the upgrades, to ensure all townships in the municipality had access to the same technology.”
“We needed more substantive figures and supporting information to even consider progressing this upgrade,” said Meander Valley councillor Andrew Connor.
In light of this, the council have voted to request a refund and release the documents — including the estimated costs quoted which were to remain confidential under the quote agreement.
Westbury and Hagley’s FTTP quote estimate came in at between $2500 to $3000 for each premises. With around 1100 premises in each town the estimate totalled between $2.7 and $3.3 million including GST.
Hadspen’s quote estimate was $2200 and $2500 for each premises, amking the total estimate between $2.2 and $2.7 million for its 1000 premises.