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How Low can you roam?

In late 2013, the three Australian mobile operators reduced overseas roaming charges. But they are still way above cost. We can fix that!

This column compares domestic and overseas data charging for mobiles with particular reference to New Zealand; which is the most important destination for short-term departures from Australia. More importantly, governments on both sides of the Tasman share a concern over the costs of mobile data roaming with the draft International Mobile Roaming Bill 2014 providing an opportunity to match the European proposal that that mobile operators should not distinguish between use of data domestically and (initially) in New Zealand.

To see the column, click Economuse 2014-07-3

Utility pricing for the NBN

The focus of NBN Co. management has been on supply – stabilising the roll out of the access network under the new design rules intended to make the NBN available more quickly and more cheaply.

The focus needs to shift to demand – what pricing structure will efficiently recover costs, achieve policy objectives and promote the adoption and utilisation of the NBN?

This opinion piece explains why the current AVC/CVC pricing model is flawed and needs to be reviewed before the next corporate plan is completed.

For more, see Economuse 2014-06-10

Knotted in net neutrality

The FCC is trying to untie legal knots that hinder its ability to promote and protect an open internet.

It stands by the three rules for net neutrality that it set in 2010. The notice issued on 17 May 2014 canvasses ways it hopes to ensure that its authority to impose rules on interne service providers is secure.

This column, published in Comms Wire on 20 May, explains how it is trying to achieve this and how it may – or may not – affect paid peering.

To read more see Economuse 2014-05-20

Fixed wireless, by-pass and affordability

NBN Co.’s fixed wireless and satellite programme is going to cost $1.7 billion more than expected. This raises the stakes in the issues of universal pricing and efficient by-pass.

There are several complementary methods which would help resolve these issues and this column looks at asset write-downs.

In the context of write-downs, the column also explains how a bigger issue for affordability than regional cross-subsidy (because all customers are affected) is a revenue claw-back scheme that the ACCC has sanctioned.

To read more go to Economuse 2014-05-12