The UK’s National Broadband Network (NBN) will not be sold to US companies as a result of concerns about the adequacy of the Australian regulator’s network, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Friday.

“It’s not a decision that we’re taking lightly, and it is a decision we’re committed to making as soon as possible,” Mr Turnbull said.

In November, the Communications Minister said it was unlikely that the UK would be able to secure an agreement for an Australian telecommunications company to build a fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) network for the NBN.

But the government has since said it wants to see “a better deal” from the US and has urged other countries to sign up to the NBN before the end of the year.

Australia’s government has said it is “open to talks” with US telco AT&T to build an FTTN network.

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is currently conducting a review of the NBN, and a decision is expected by the end “in the next couple of weeks”, Mr Turnbull told reporters.

He said it would be premature to speculate on what might be in the US proposal.

US telecommunications companies AT&amps subsidiary Verizon Communications and Comcast have both expressed interest in building an FTTP network for Australia.

AUSTRALIA, THE UNITED STATES, AND THE MIDDLE EAST The Coalition has said that it will allow a joint venture between AT&am and the Federal Communications Board to “renegotiate the contract” between NBN Co and Telstra.

However, Mr Turnbull says the Coalition is committed to “proposing a deal” for the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) to use the NBN as a joint-venture partner.

Mr Turnbull said there were “several key things” he hoped to achieve from a joint British-Australian venture, and that “it’s the right thing to do”.

“We’re not going to take the NBN back and do anything that’s not in the best interests of Australians,” he said.

“We’re going to look at what is in the Australian market and then make a decision as soon a possible.”

The Government has said the NBN should be given to private companies that have completed a “complete and rigorous assessment” of the project, and the company that will take over the project.

GCHQ has been tasked with ensuring the NBN is “fully operational”, and Mr Turnbull announced on Friday that the Government was considering a new model of joint venture to use GCHQ to manage the NBN project.

Tags: