Fans of the Coalition's vaguer and vague plans for the National Broadband Network (NBN) aren't exactly thick on the ground. But I've run into one during my visit to Macau: Cisco APJ president Irving Tan.
During a press session at Cisco's APJC Collaboration Connection 2014 event in Macau, Tan mentioned how many countries in the region are pursuing plans to develop national fibre networks, with varying degrees of success. On Australia's attempt, he had this to say:
Australia is a bit more complicated but I think they're moving in the right direction.
Tan was visiting Australia last week, so it seems likely the NBN was one of the issues under discussion.
Regardless of whether you agree with the assessment, this remark highlights one aspect of the current reassessment of the NBN plan: it means vendors are again jockeying to have their technology included. Cisco didn't score a large role in the original NBN contracts, but it's one of the dominant providers of HFC cable, and that's supposed to have a larger role in the "mixed technology" approach currently favoured for the NBN.
Cisco also has a well-established partnership with Telstra, which was the first company to sign up for the global "Intercloud" network Cisco announced in May. Any change to the NBN is going to be crucially dependent on Telstra agreeing to vary its contracts.
We'd all like the NBN (in whatever form) to have more certainty attached, but certainty seems some distance away. That's not great for consumers, but for equipment providers it's a second bite at the cherry.
Disclosure: Angus Kidman travelled to Macau as a guest of Cisco.