Too few players on NBN's level field?

Too few players on NBN's level field?

Summary: Michael Malone, Simon Hackett and Mike Quigley discuss whether the structure of the National Broadband Network forced Internode's sale to iiNet.

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TOPICS: Broadband, Telcos, NBN
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Michael Malone, Simon Hackett and Mike Quigley discuss whether the structure of the National Broadband Network forced Internode's sale to iiNet.

Simon Hackett, the founder of Internode, has been saying for some time that very few companies will be able to afford the cost of providing national coverage with the NBN. It gets down to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's decision to overturn NBN Co's plans for just 14 points of interconnect. Instead, to protect the backhaul industry, the regulator insisted on 121 points on the new network, escalating the cost of providing true national coverage.

So, was this ruling behind Internode's decision to be acquired by iiNet? Michael Malone, CEO of iiNet, says Internode was just below scale to operate nationally in a post-NBN world.

But NBN Co's chief executive, Mike Quigley, says the NBN is still a cheaper alternative than building a national network in today's environment. He says we'll have to wait and see how many national customers the new network will attract, but Malone and Hackett reckon it will be in single figures.

That seems a long way from the original vision of the NBN, where a level playing field would be providing opportunities for a wide range of retail providers.

What do you think? Leave a message (on this or any other topic) on the Twisted Wire feedback line: (02) 9304 5198.

Running time: 33 minutes, 58 seconds

Topics: Broadband, Telcos, NBN

About

Phil Dobbie has a wealth of radio and business experience. He started his career in commercial radio in the UK and, since coming to Australia in 1991, has held senior marketing and management roles with Telstra, OzEmail, the British Tourist Authority and other telecommunications, media, travel and advertising businesses.

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  • If you wanted to build your "own" truly national coverage pre-NBN, you'd need backhaul to several thousand exchange locations, so I feel Quigley is right there.

    What will happen is aggregators offering national coverage to all 121 POIs through as few as one connection to their network will appear. Nextgen are already marketing exactly this with their "NBN Connect" product.
    mwyres@...
  • The original number of POIs was 100-200. There are plenty of reports of Mike Quigley mentioning this number long before the 14 POI proposal. It might be an idea next time he's on to ask hime why he went from 100-200 to 14.
    brynmeek@...