The start of 2012 saw the conclusion of the structural separation and other regulatory issues associated with the rollout of the NBN. The ACCC also issued its wholesale conditions for the transitional period. Two months later NBN Co launched their rollout plan for the next three years, which showed that by the end of that period the NBN will be in reach of close to four million households and businesses across the country.
There is also more detailed information becoming available from the Opposition and, while there remain strong areas of disagreement, the reality is that despite the possibility of a change of government in late 2013 the NBN is here to stay.
The Opposition certainly has some valid points of criticism, which we share with them. There is still a misalignment between the social and economic benefits of the NBN and NBN Co’s business plan. However, so far the Opposition has not revealed its own NBN policy. Do they see this as essential infrastructure for the emerging digital economy, e-health, tele-education, internet of things, etc? Only when a vision has been arrived at can a strategic plan be generated. Without such a vision it is useless discussing technologies such as FttH, FttN, HFC, wireless, etc. You first need to know what you want to do with it.
Australia is highly reliant on its income from natural resources and, like other resource-rich countries, the country needs to diversify its economy. Interestingly, it is these resource-rich countries that are leading the rollout of FttH around the globe.
The first retail prices are looking very promising. Entry level charges are most competitive and according to BuddeComm this will see a 70%+ uptake rate once sufficient rollout mass is achieved.
This report provides analyses of the developments made during 2012.