NBN Row Rages On As Telstra Rejects Connections

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121 NBN connection points confirmed as new row breaks out.The Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) which released its revised list of 121 points of interconnect (POI) to the broadband network yesterday said the number was crucial for ensuring adequate competition was in place. 

This was following original proposals by the NBN Co for just 14 points of connection where telco’s could hook up to the NBN’s fibre network. 

The ACCC rejected this and recommended an increase in the number of connection points, claiming the current number would reduce competition in backhaul markets.

However, Telstra, which it was revealed recently made a submission to a parliamentary enquiry over several aspects of the NBN’s supply arrangement, has also come out criticising the number of POI’s as “insufficient”. 

“It is an insufficient number of POIs to meet the long-term interest of end-users and other obligations and will lead to some level of investment stranding,” Telstra said in its submission. 

The country’s biggest telco player also claims the revamped locations are too heavily focused on metropolitan markets, meaning other areas will lose out. 

Carriers like Optus, VHA and TPG also back a ‘low consolidation’ approach, calling for the establishment of up to 400 or 500 points of connection to the fibre network.  

 

Internode’s MD, Simon Hackett also supported the original 14 POI, claiming a larger number would mean “all smaller players will be forced to buy access from their own (generally) capital city based networks, through to each of those 200 POIs, from one of the few players with that existing fibre backbone structure in place.” 

However, the ACCC say otherwise, claiming “the availability of competing fibre infrastructure was a key element of the competition criteria,” Chairman Graeme Samuel said in a statement yesterday. 

The new list followed a public confirmation process into the 120 initial POI developed by NBN Co in consultation with the ACCC.

Australia’s largest telco also fears the NBN Co will usurp its business interest by entering the supply market, dealing with profitable clients including Woolworths, mining companies and state agencies – all lucrative business Telstra wants for itself.
 
According to a report in The Australian this morning, Independent MP Rob Oakeshott, a strong supporter of the $36bn project, will chair a joint parliamentary committee looking into the NBN rollout.

 

Members from Labour and the Coalition will also sit on the enquiry.

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