Rural and remote areas will continue to struggle to keep up with urban telecommunications despite the progress that has been made with initiatives such as the Mobile Black Spot Program (MBSP) and the NBN fixed wireless and satellite. A more radical approach is needed as we consider updating the Universal Service Obligation, public safety network options and mobile roaming. Instead of more expensive small gains at the margin, or counter productive roaming arrangements, we should take a large step forward by having the Commonwealth, States and MNOs work together.
To read more, click Economuse 2017-2-03-safety net
I have had the good fortune to work with Bob James (we developed the TransAct NBN Mark I business case) and Robin Eckermann (the Australian father of FTTN – 10 years ahead of the Commonwealth).
We have developed the idea attached; which could be a game changer for rural and remote customers. The concept is novel but not rocket science. Aceptance and execution will be tricky.
This column discusses the importance of disruptive or maverick operators to drive innovation and price competition in mobile and fixed networks. Two days after the attached opinion piece was published in CommsWire, the European Commission supported Ofcom’s decision to block the merger of 3UK and O2; see
The opinion piece below also discusses the lack of competition in Australian mobile and fixed broadband markets. Ofcom’s research suggests that mobile prices may up to 20% higher than they could be in Australia.
For more, see Economuse 2016-05-09
The OECD’s latest report on the state of international data roaming shows that Australia is getting left behind. The cost of using data overseas is outrageously high. Efforts to reduce such costs on a reciprocal basis for travel between Australia and new Zealand stalled two years ago. There is draft legislation on both sides of the Tasman that will give the responsible regulators the teeth to see progress. It needs to be acted on.
For more, see Economuse 2016-04-29-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