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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

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