The Federal Government has today released a policy paper outlining a roadmap for telecommunications regulatory and structural reform including a response to the recommendations of the independent cost-benefit analysis of broadband and review of regulation, led by Dr Michael Vertigan AC.
The Government will implement policy reforms that include:
- a phased implementation process that will deliver a more competitively-neutral market structure long term
- requiring networks competing with NBN Co to offer wholesale services on a non-discriminatory structurally separated basis
- legislating that NBN Co be the infrastructure provider of last resort
- replacing NBN Co’s policy of uniform national wholesale pricing with pricing flexibility and price capping
- a competitively neutral industry contribution mechanism to fund NBN Co’s fixed wireless and satellite services long term, replacing NBN Co’s internal cross subsidies
- fostering competition in new developments by allowing NBN Co to charge developers for telecommunications infrastructure
- requiring NBN Co to have separate accounting, and subject to review, separable corporate systems, for its key technology platforms
- fine-tuning of the regulatory framework.
A total of 53 recommendations were made to the Government by the Vertigan review, ranging from regulatory fine-tuning to fundamental structural changes in the telecommunications market. Copies of the reports are available here.
In addition, a policy position paper on the provision of telecommunications infrastructure in new developments has been released for comment. The Government invites comments on the approach by 15 January 2015.