NBN Co could retail services

NBN Co could retail services

Summary: The Federal Government has left the door open for the National Broadband Network Company to supply services directly to users such as government, despite former assurances that the company would only provide wholesale services.

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The Federal Government has left the door open for the National Broadband Network Company to supply services directly to some users, going against its stated aim that the company would only provide wholesale services.

Conroy-grimace-440wide.jpg

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy
(Credit: Liam Tung/ZDNet.com.au )

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy yesterday released two pieces of "exposure" draft legislation which he said would establish a regulatory framework for the NBN Co, saying the Bills delivered on the Rudd Government's "commitment to change the competitive dynamics of the telecommunications sector by ensuring NBN Co will operate as a wholesale-only company, offering open and equivalent access".

However, in an explanatory note to the memorandum, the government noted the communications minister of the day may override the wholesale-only rule, although they would have to consult with the national competition regulator before doing so.

"This exemption power provides important flexibility including, if appropriate, to allow NBN Co to offer services directly to certain end users, for example, government agencies," the note stated.

Currently, government agencies are substantial purchasers of telecommunications services from large telcos such as Telstra, Optus, AAPT and Macquarie Telecom, with some deals ranging into the tens or even, in rare cases, the hundreds of millions of dollars.

For example, the Federal Government is currently seeking to establish a new whole-of-government telecommunications procurement panel, which is scheduled to go live over the next several years.

However, the government has placed other restrictions on the NBN Co designed to ensure its wholesale-only nature. For example, if the NBN Co were to acquire other businesses that had retail operations, it must divest itself of those retail aspects of its purchases.

And the NBN Co will also not be able to supply any content services — even of a wholesale nature. This would rule the NBN Co out of partnering with any media companies and bundling such an offering as a wholesale product to its retail customers.

Price differentiation

Separately, the legislation notes also answered one significant question retail internet service providers have had about the NBN Co — whether it will be able to offer volume discount prices for larger orders. It will.

The explanatory notes state that although the NBN Co must not unfairly discriminate between those seeking to access its wholesale services, it will still be able to negotiate with them. The explanatory document states that "in certain circumstances, differentiation on price and/or non-price aspects can aid efficiency, innovation and investment".

The documents note that the concept of "efficiency" can be used to facilitate normal business negotiation such as "offering volume-based discounts".

The carriers that would benefit most from volume discounting would likely be those with the largest existing customer bases — in other words, market leaders like Telstra, Optus, AAPT, iiNet and TPG. The government and the NBN Co are currently known to be negotiating directly with Telstra over the terms on which (among other matters) the telco would gradually attempt to migrate the customers currently on its own network across to that of the NBN Co (using the NBN Co's wholesale services).

However, the legislation also states that if the NBN Co enters into a non-standard agreement with a telco, that it must publish the terms of that agreement on its website within seven days of it being entered into.

"The requirement to publish a statement is intended to promote transparency, which is a fundamental bulwark of equivalence," the explanatory documents state, although they also note NBN Co will not be required to publish the entirety of non-standard agreements as this could reveal commercial-in-confidence information belonging to the access seeker.

Topics: Government, Broadband, E-Commerce, Government AU, Telcos, Telstra, NBN

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18 comments
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  • NBN should be left in public hands

    The NBN should never be sold off. Australia does not have the population to support multiple wholesalers of this type. Just look at Telstra, sell it off and it wants to own all of Australia's telecommunications. Leave it in the publics hands. It should not aim to make a profit, it should only need to try and break even.

    The NBN could have been Telstra if it was still in public hands, but because it has been sold off we now have to build a new infrastructure company. Just buy back Telstra and cut if up!
    anonymous
  • Backflip Kev strikes again

    Agreed wholeheartedly. This is another classic example of why KRudd should not be in power. The network should not only remain in public hands for eternity but Labor should not reneg on faithful promise to bar the wholesaler from providing retail services.
    anonymous
  • Ohhhh Haaaa Haaaa Haaaaa Telstra Sucks.

    The Telstra "share sale" for all the "mums and dads" of Australia - was a conjob from the very beginning.

    I remember seeing John Howard and Alston and all the bullshit up on stage, feeding this crap on a national basis.

    And I was thinking - "These guys are con artists - it's one big corporate scam".

    They were like junkies standing on a street corner, selling powdered sugar as smack...... "Oh yeah mate, yeah mate - you wana score mate, it's 100% pure mate"

    To me - Howard and his stooges stood out like dogs balls.

    Then all these STUPID "mums and dads" of Australia - all these clueless idiots swallowed all the bullshit that was fed to them.....

    And I go, "Are you so stupid to have believed and have bought into any of this crap?"

    Well evidently yes you are.

    Telstra investors - you are all morons, and you chose to be sucked in by bastards like John Howard and Co.

    That is why your shares are now worthless - because it was corporate scam - facilitated by corrupt ministers.
    anonymous
  • Ohhhh Haaaa Haaaaaa Haaaaa Telstra sucks.

    The Telstra "share sale" for all the "mums and dads" of Australia - was a conjob from the very beginning.

    I remember seeing John Howard and Alston and all the bullshit up on stage, feeding this crap on a national basis.

    And I was thinking - "These guys are con artists - it's one big corporate scam".

    They were like junkies standing on a street corner, selling powdered sugar as smack...... "Oh yeah mate, yeah mate - you wana score mate, it's 100% pure mate"

    To me - Howard and his stooges stood out like dogs balls.

    Then all these STUPID "mums and dads" of Australia - all these clueless idiots swallowed all the bullshit that was fed to them.....

    And I go, "Are you so stupid to have believed and have bought into any of this crap?"

    Well evidently yes you are.

    Telstra investors - you are all morons, and you chose to be sucked in by bastards like John Howard and Co.

    That is why your shares are now worthless - because it was corporate scam - facilitated by corrupt ministers.
    anonymous
  • Stick by your principles kevin rudd

    Stick by your principles kevin rudd
    anonymous
  • Actions tell.

    What might they be?
    anonymous
  • @Actions tell

    You tell us Syd, you voted for him!
    anonymous
  • Times they change.

    You are correct RS I did vote for him. Because he told me he was a financial conservative.

    I now realize that truthfulness is not one of Mr Rudd's principles. Spin and Con yes, honesty no.
    anonymous
  • Judge what we know, not what if?

    Syd why do you "always avoid the truth"?

    You voted for Mr. Rudd because you thought he'd help Telstra and in turn your shares. Be truthful.

    You mounted an online blitzkrieg on NWAT, here and everywhere else, urging the 1.4m mums and dads/TLS shareholers and families to vote Howard/Coonan out and Rudd in, because it looked like Telstra (via Labor) would get the NBN (remember Telstra dug their own grave, by submitting a non-compliant bid and in return the government retaliated)!

    Again you are doing likewise, but advocating the complete opposite side, lol. This time, you want the same TLS shareholders to vote Labor out and Mr. Abbott in - just to help YOUR shares, lol!

    BTW - He (Kevy) told "you" (what, over dinner at Sol's? lol...) that he was a financial conservative!

    I certainly don't agree with a lot of what Mr. Rudd is doing, just like I didn't previously with Mr. Howard. I also don't have an affiliation to any party (as you do - you vote for the Telstra positive party). So I can speak with impartiality, I believe...

    But governments are going to do this - you know, "you can't please all of the people all of the time".

    But regardless of who was in power, financial conservative or otherwise, when the global financial crisis hit, money needed to be injected into the economy to ward off a recession or even depression.

    There's no doubt that although fiscally conservative governments save more/spend less, had Mr. Howard still been PM he would have had to have done as Mr. Rudd did and spend (his advisors and expert consultants/economists would have insisted)!

    Of course he probably wouldn't have spent as much, which brings us to 2 conclusions.

    1) Mr. Rudd has seemed to have helped Australia avoid a recession, which most other countries have been unable to do, so he has the runs on the board - but did he spend too much?

    2) Had Mr. Howard still been PM and not spent as much would he have spent enough to stimulate the economy or would we have slipped into recession/depression and been worse off?

    Answer, we don't know. We can just look at the first scenario and say, well Rudd avoided worse times, but at a huge cost and get on with it...

    I now realise that truthfulness is not one of Mr. Lawrences' principles... God Bless Telstra [sic]
    anonymous
  • Smoke, mirrors and three card tricks.

    RS your history and your opinions of the GFC are interesting. I have spoken personally to Mr Rudd because he used to live close by me and attended the same movie theatre that my wife and I frequent.

    My opinion is that you are quite wrong on the positive effect the RGCS (Rudd Gigantic Cash Splash) had on the Australian economy. Australia suffered no effects in their balance of trade and would not have suffered had the RGCS not occurred.

    RS could you tell me how the additional purchases of products from China (funded by the RGCS) could have been of assistance to the Australian economy. Popular and vote buying sure but beneficial NO.

    Back on topic "NBN Co could retail services" I would caution all persons in the industry to be very careful and watch their backs as Rudd and Conroy are showing what devious and dangerous characters they are.
    anonymous
  • No lies, from YOU....

    Your opinion is that I'm quite wrong? And what is that opinion based on? I'd say nothing but resentment against the government due to your underperforming TLS shares. Hers' some valid evidence not, shareholder sobbing -

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/australia-avoids-recession-as-gdp-grows-in-first-quarter/story-0-1225720564451

    From within - "Is Australia the wonder from down under? It certainly looks that way.

    "Every other major developed economy went into reverse in a big way in the first three months of the year but Australia actually grew". {end}

    Argue all you want, but...

    We have avoided recession, unlike most of our trading partners, so your accusation that the injection of funds, is as usual unfounded, baseless and a lie based around your own resentment due to your underperforming TLS shares.

    You need to understand there's more to life than TLS shares and lying to try to increase them.

    Now admit why you voted for Mr. Rudd!
    anonymous
  • Smell the roses RS. In fact join us on our cruise to Alaska in May.

    RS my heart goes out to you. That a fellow human being should be so afflicted with strange delusional, demented, twisted and bitter fantasies is upsetting and sad.

    RS please realise, focus and comprehend that you are the one with the unhealthy focus on Telstra shares. My wife does have a few Telstra shares and the price is low at the moment, but she has no concern.

    To be honest we would gladly give our Telstra shares to be used in a public campaign to educate the Australian people and expose the dictatorial blackmail and threat to Telstra that Mr Rudd uses in an effort to gain votes at the next election.
    anonymous
  • Well do it, or are you all TALK?...

    Yeah, yeah, (enter typical stupid reply - because you have no facts) here ... delusional, demented. Whatever...

    Previously I said, "when" TLS shares drop below $3 (as I knew they would - and you puppets laughed) I will buy" and I did, proving my honesty and impartiality.

    Ok time for you to put your money where your mouth is - "sell the shares and fund a campaign against Conroy".

    Go on, you just said you would - so...

    70 000 shares isn't it? According to your previous NWAT, Telstra supporter interview? So a cool $200K to help the cause! Maybe a series of newspaper adverts, could be in order?

    Suzanne please contact Syd and arrange a story and photo shoot to start off his campaign.

    I look forward to seeing this story, you keep your word, Mr. Lawrence and will be reminding you, as I'm sure others will too.

    Or are you FOS?
    anonymous
  • No chook raffle RS.

    RS please be advised that the amount of money you quote would not be enough to start the first day of a national campaign.

    I am talking about a month of full page adds in all national newspapers, intense advertisements on major radio stations and professionally erected video clips on all television stations. Probable cost many, many millions. That's what it costs to blitzkrieg a Government.
    anonymous
  • FOS

    Oh, so you are FOS, like we thought and not willing to sell the shares.

    More lies from the king of lies...
    anonymous
  • Hear Hear!

    I hope he does stick to his principles. He'll end up being only the third prime minister to serve only one term. People have seen Chairman Rudd for the klutz that he is. The only thing he does well (and consistently well) is overseas travel and abusing people.
    anonymous
  • hear hear!

    lets see if rudd is such a klutz to only be the third prime minister to lose his seat too, like howard.
    anonymous
  • Watch Rudd he is a dangerous man.

    Mel one serious fraud that Mr Rudd is going to pull concerns his plan to restrict the Internet and remove any content that does not serve his purpose. You would note Mel, that he has deferred debate until after the next election, and if he wins he will be able to claim a mandate to enforce his censorship of the Net.

    Sorry to stray off topic Suzanne and thanks for your indulgence.
    anonymous