There’s a new monopoly coming to town and its called the NBN Co, say leading Telcos.
Telstra is the latest Telco to express their disdain for the NBN, demanding a review to the proposed legislation governing the network build, according to The Australian.
The proposed Companies Bill and the Access Bill will put “the benefits of the NBN in jeopardy,” say Telstra, who fear competition will be wiped out if the laws see the light of day.
Under the proposed rules, Telcos would also be prevented from what they
contend is the NBN Co “cherry picking” the most profitable consumers to
supply by preventing rival high speed broadband networks being developed
before the NBN rollout.
Australia’s largest Telco also fears the NBN Co will usurp their 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.
Ultimately this would also mean the NBN Co would be reneging on their pledge to offer broadband to wholesale customers only, stealing the former monopoly position Telstra was so often accused of holding in the market.
The NBN Co on the other hand argues the rules will encourage investment in newer network services.
“The present provisions are easily circumvented and would enable NBN Co to vertically integrate into retail corporate and government markets with little difficulty,” Telstra says in a statement.
“Discouraging new entry where this is economically efficient . . . will not benefit consumers over the long term.”
Communications minster Senator Stephen Conroy has defended the plan, saying it was necessary to turn around the network which has “some of the most expensive and the slowest broadband in the world”.
“We’ve had the least reformed telecommunications sector anywhere in the world, virtually,” he added.
“NBN Co would be hindered in delivering its objectives if it is subject to strict regulatory requirements while competing against other, less-regulated providers of super-fast broadband.”
Over the weekend Telstra’s rival Optus also came out with scathing criticism of the NBN, with its CEO Paul O Sullivan calling for the complete outsourcing of the company’s management. He also said that the NBN could become another Telstra “monopoly”.
“The operations of the NBN itself should be put out to competitive tender sooner rather than later” he said.