Industry in fear as Conroy prepares to harmonise NBN rivals

Industry in fear as Conroy prepares to harmonise NBN rivals

Communications Minister set to introduce new legislation to enforce one access regime on fibre network providers.

The Government is set to release legislation that forces fibre networks around Australia to conform with NBN Co standards. The move has the potential to affect all commercial fibre networks nation-wide.

In comments originally made to ITnews and confirmed by ARN, the Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, is set to introduce legislation that will affect all new and upgraded fibre networks.

“The legislation will ensure any new or upgraded networks will have to meet NBN standards and offer a wholesale service on an open and non-discriminatory basis,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

“These arrangements will ensure all future networks will support effective retail level competition and deliver NBN-consistent outcomes for everyone.”

The spokesperson did not confirm or deny that pricing requirements would be a part of the legislation and sought extra advice on the issue when asked by ARN.

The stated aim of the bill is to reduce the construction of over-lapping networks. The information comes days after Brisbane Lord Mayor, Campbell Newman, launched an NBN rival set to operate in his city alone.

Ovum research director, David Kennedy, said more detailed information was needed and that the move had the potential to affect all wholesale fibre operators in Australia.

“If [rivals] are required to match NBN Co’s wholesale rates this could certainly be a problem for alternative fibre providers,” he said. “What this sort of would do is preclude any wholesale-level competition and that would probably not be a good thing.

“If [rivals] can’t control the wholesale price offer, then not only do they need to be concerned over where the price is set but they also have to worry about the prospect of it being changed in the future.

“It makes business planning much more difficult.”

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Tags NBNSenator Stephen ConroyCommunications MinisterCampbell Newmanfibre network providersi3 group


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