Optus has come out swinging claiming that any cost blow-out to the proposed $36 billion dollar national broadband network will not only damage the economy but see “consumers squeezed”.In a submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission seen by the Financial Review, Optus has called for greater regulatory control of the NBN Co which is a pet project of the Federal Labour Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, who has been slammed for his handling of a recent tender to run the Australia Network international television service.
In their submission to the ACCC Optus claim that that the NBN Co pricing plans do not “put the interest of end consumers first”.
They claim that capital expenditure running into tens of billions “deemed to be prudent” without any third party scrutiny of the costs.
Recently the NBN Co pledged to limit prices rises to half the inflation rate.
Optus claim this is insufficient to guard against price rises for “ancillary” services.
They also criticise controversial usage charges that the NBN Co proposes to charge wholesale customers.