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so much for competition « Previous | |Next »
June 13, 2007

The nation's politicians are falling over each other to give the ACCC greater powers to regulate the petrol industry--ensure competition, break cartels and lower petrol prices--- but, when it comes to telecommunications, the same politicians are acting to sideline the regulator. Strange is it not?


And yet Telstra's strategy is to double the price of broadband and re-establish its monopoly through its proposed fibre- to-node network It also wants to clip the wings of the ACCC. The politicians are not falling over themselves to ensure greater competition in the telecommunications industry, even though Australia ranks around 42 in the world in terms of new digital infrastructure.

Good high speed broadband--- fibre-to-the-home--is some way off in Australia. As Alan Kohler observes in The Age the current situation is one in which:

Telstra wants to build FTTN, to re-establish its monopoly. Its competitors have proposed their own version to head off Telstra. The ACCC supports the competitors because that is what it does. And the two main political parties are getting involved because optic fibre broadband sounds really cool.

He says that everyone in the telecommunications industry knows that using neighbourhood exchanges (nodes) and retaining the last kilometre of copper is a temporary solution, mainly because the old copper is degraded and requires expensive maintenance.

Want more competition in the telecommunications industry? Then split Telstra into an infrastructure and retail company. None of the politicians are even talking about that. Kohler says that:

the best solution for Australian telecommunications...would be a split-up of Telstra, followed eventually by a fibre-to-the-home network built by the Telstra infrastructure fund as an open network available to all at a regulated price that reflects the capital cost.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:36 AM | | Comments (4)


I've been saying what Kohler said myself for a long time now (a couple years anyway) - sure smarter people thought of it for me and proposed it but I still agree with it.

and it needs to be kept on saying as much as possible.

I havent looked at the breakdown for a while. How much does the Government get out of a litre of petrol say @$1.20c?

Government excise is probably around thirty-eight cents in every litre of petrol, then there's GST on top of that.