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Who should we fear most – Telstra or NBN Co.?

Two current consultations by the ACCC show a marked difference in the regulator’s treatment of the legacy (Telstra) access network and its treatment of the new broadband network being built by NBN Co.

Both Telstra and NBN Co. are subject to the building block method for calculating allowable revenues (wholesale only in the case of NBN Co.). But in application, the ACCC continues to hammer Telstra while mollycoddling NBN Co.

The ACCC hopes that keeping Telstra’s access prices low will be good for competition and end users. It may be wrong (see reference in the attached to “price competition has stalled”) and it is short sighted. The real issue is the long term affordability of broadband which has been compromised by the regulator’s unusual assent to deferred revenue increases at NBN Co.

The article can be found by clicking Economuse 2015-03-12

Will net neutrality nuke the Internet?

On Thursday, 26 February the FCC voted on a new policy for ensuring net neutrality. This article was written before that decision was published but, with just two dissenting Commissioners, the FCC adopted the President’s plan as described in the article – which you can by clicking¬† Economuse 2015-02-24

At the same meeting used Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act to over-ride legislation in two states (but others will follow) that stopped broadband competition from public corporations. The dilemma was examined in a major thought piece two years ago which compared case that the FCC has just looked at with the NBN in Australia as originally set-up – using guidelines that are used in Europe to balance private and public investment in broadband – you can see this paper by clicking SNG White Paper on State Aid, October 2012

Netflix – the elephant in the pay TV room

The ACCC is considering whether to allow a joint venture between Foxtel and the Seven Network because of Foxtel’s current dominance of the pay TV market in Australia. But, it knows that the elephant in the room is Netflix which launches in Australia in March.

The subscription video on demand (SVOD) market is crowded. There will be a bloody (shareholder red ink) battle which will leave only the biggest players.

This opinion piece looks at the implications for regulation, existing content providers and the carriers in Australia. Click

Economuse 2015-01-19

Act now – or the NBN will be a white elephant

The current (Aug 2012) NBN business plan is a fantasy and we must now assume a legislated monopoly will not hold.

The new carrier licence condition that will apply in January may close the loophole in legislation that TPG exploited. But TPG has a Plan B that uses wireless spectrum and cannot be stopped so easily.

The real issue for the NBN is that mobile is rapidly becoming the de-facto standard for broadband access. It is already competitive with the NBN for downloads up to 15 GB per month.

These issues and some ideas for dealing with them are explored in Act now – or the NBN will be a white elephant

The problems of transitional pricing

New all-fibre or part-fibre networks have to persuade customers to migrate from existing legacy copper networks. In the process, regulators and policy makers both in Australia and New Zealand have made the migration more difficult for the next generation network.

This opinion piece looks at how the ACCC missed an opportunity in 2009 and also at the impediment to migration caused by the Commerce Commission in New Zealand.

To read this, click on Economuse 2014-10-15