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Time to take the gloves off?

Wholesale pricing should be simple. NBN pricing is not, and it is getting more complex. But Bob James and I have proposed how to get things back on track and reset the sector for success – measured by broadband being fast and affordable for consumers, at least slightly profitable for retailers and losing as little as possible for the NBN.

A slightly shorter version of this opinion piece was published in Communications Day on 9th April
NBN – Time to take the gloves off


Following-up on my previous post “Pricing for Abundance”, I prepared a short video for a “poster session” at the Pacific Telecommunications Council conference in January 2021. This is the biggest annual gathering of the submarine cable industry in the world and it is normally held in Hawaii. This year it is a virtual on-line conference.

The “poster” advertising my presentation and the video are below.

Pricing for Abundance

Small island nations that have relied on satellites for international connectivity are now being connected by submarine cables that have infinitely more capacity. The hope is that these cables will lift the social and economic development of the economies connected. This hope is more likely to be realized with the adoption of wholesale traffic pricing based on the capacity abundance brought by the cable system rather than historical wholesale bandwidth pricing, which assumes capacity scarcity.

Reductions in the wholesale cost of international connectivity are more likely to be passed on to end users if there is retail competition. The proposed wholesale pricing model facilitates increased retail competition.

These ideas are explored in a case study of the Cook Islands, which is a member of the Manatua Cable Project.

This a preprint. The final paper appears in the AJTDE Volume 8, Issue 3, Paper 344 at

Who will blink first on NBN pricing?

The showdown on NBN CVC pricing has been a long time coming. The NBN bestowed an extra 40% of CVC capacity to make lockdown due to COVID-19 more bearable. But it is only temporary. The ending of the 40% uplift inserts a decisive event into what was previously a slow boil. At a time when retail margins are becoming exhausted, something has to give.

Co-authored with Bob James and publishedin Comms Day. read it here Who will blink first on NBN pricing