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Big Pipes (2006)

This report released in April 2006 was inadvertently omitted from my publications page – sorry. It deals with the importance of improved international connectivity (“big pipes”) for big business, big science and the development of the information economy in WA. It is here: bigpipes

Submission on USO Levy

The Bureau of Communications Research at the Department of Communications is tasked with finding out how to fund non-commercial services on the NBN. An industry levy seen as the prime mechanism that will sustain these services in the presence of infrastructure competition (as I argued in my 2010 submission to the Senate).

This submission is a response to the request for comments on the Bureau’s first consultation paper.

To access the submission, click USO-Levy-JdR

2014 review of retail broadband pricing

Every September, I review the ADSL2+ and corresponding NBN retail broadband plans to assess the state of price competition. Last year, I concluded that competition had stalled because ISPs were waiting to see realistic NBN wholesale prices and/or settling into a cosy oligopoly.

In the last 12 months, a couple of players (Exetel and TPG) have launched unlimited data plans; which may shake things up a bit. But, it wont help make the NBN more affordable – there are very users who want unlimited data.

To see the results, click Economuse 2014-09-23

How long will MTAS be necessary?

The ACCC regulates the price of terminating calls on mobile networks. The bottom-up cost model it has been using was built around technology that is old. It is rightly concerned that any new bottom-up cost model based base on 3G could soon become redundant when operators start to carry voice over 4G – which they will within the term of the pricing determination.
With 4G (where voice will be IP based) and the NBN, there is no need to distinguish between voice and data as all traffic is bytes. The tried and tested way of exchanging bytes is peering and transit – which are unregulated. There are no termination fees for voice and SMS now – if they are carried as bytes over apps like Skype and Whatsapp. In this emerging context, there is no need to model costs or to regulate termination.
In the short term, the ACCC is considering using “actual costs” to model costs from the top-down – which is the same as the Building Block Method (BBM) the ACCC is now using in the fixed network. That seems the best approach for now. But, when voice becomes data (4G), the ACCC can step aside and leave it to the market.

To read the opinion piece, click here: Economuse 2014-08-08