Australia is the first country in the world where the whole industry will adopt a new plan for the future. While most other countries agree that a national open wholesale-only network is the best way forward to progress the digital economy, very few have the political or economic will to implement such far reaching reforms. In the past progress and competition was based on ad hoc decisions and there was little room for long-term planning. Competition survived on the crumbs that fell from the Telstra table, and on regulatory relief which often took many years to arrive and was often too late to help a starving competitive environment. Uncertainty was a major obstacle. All decisions depended on Telstra and there was little hope for individual initiatives.
Those who developed their own independent plans quickly discovered that Telstra’s reach was long and deep. Good examples of this are TransACT in Canberra and the Unwired service. Even larger companies like Optus and AAPT (Telecom New Zealand) struggled to set their own course. The single most important element of the National Broadband Network is that it will provide certainty about future direction. There will be problems, and the outcome will not be perfect, but for the first time individual companies are far more in charge of their own destiny.
Of course these changes will not happen overnight and there will be a transition period where Telstra and its competitors will have to cooperate, which will require give and take.
However, the NBN will change the industry forever. Companies will have to reinvent themselves and totally revise the business models in order to benefit from these game changing developments.
Companies covered in this report include:
Telstra, Optus, AAPT, Macquarie Telecom, Primus Telecom, Internode, iiNet, TPG, M2, Salmat, TransACT, Telecom New Zealand, AARNet, Opticomm
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