In the previous column, I argued that the TPG-iiNet merger would cause an alarming increase in industry concentration and less price competition. But with or without this merger the competitive process can still be strengthened with a few changes that will shore-up both competition and NBN Co.
To read how, click Economuse 2015-04-02
If iiNet’s shareholders accept the TPG offer and the ACCC approves this take-over (neither of which is certain), the prospect of vigorous retail competition in the fixed network is dim. The extent of price competition currently is debateable and increased industry concentration is irrefutable.
To read this column, click Economuse 2015-04-01
The next column will examine how the competitive process can still be strengthened, with or without this merger.
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
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