NBN Co.’s July consultation paper on pricing and billing has wilfully ignored the only serious option that has been put up against its own product and pricing construct. Unless it is changed, the NBN will not be affordable and will not increase broadband utilisation.
This paper calibrates the options against the 2012-2015 NBN Corporate Plan and other analysis.
It includes the “traffic model” as Option 6 and concludes that this will make the NBN more affordable and give the industry the certainty is seeks in future reductions in unit traffic charges.
The paper can found by clicking here: Economuse 2014-08-14
This paper complements others written about the Traffic Model. It is described as Option 6 because it was wilfully neglected in the Options considered by NBN Co. in its July 2014 consultation paper.
The wholesale tariffs in this paper were calibrated from retail broadband prices at September 2013 and the revenues are compared with those in NBN Co.’s 2012-2015 Corporate Plan (the only publicly available plan currently).
It is interesting to note that despite a very low entry level (Starter) tariff of $10pm compared with NBN Co.’s $24 pm (includes CVC component); the Traffic Model is viable.
The Traffic Model is a better match with real consumer expectations and policy goals than NBN Co.’s current revenue model.
The 4 page paper can be accessed by clicking Option 6
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
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
This 15 page paper supports an article in CommsWire this week. It provides detail on how mobile data roaming works, current pricing and suggests a policy response.
To read the paper, click here: Data Roaming