The NBN, and in particular the structural separation between infrastructure and services, is changing the telecoms industry beyond recognition. A new industry structure will need to be developed based on collaboration and cooperation, rather than the destructive adversarial environment of the past.
While the open market is being established, Telstra remains dominant and with revenue derived from the deal struck with the government over NBN Co's access to its infrastructure the company has deep pockets to invest in new opportunities. It must be questioned whether the design of the NBN will lead to true wholesale competition, or will restrict competition to a handful of players which can afford to build their presence in the 121 points of interconnect? This could well prove to be a critical strategic mistake.
The ACCC has indicated that it will monitor this. The unique construction that offers backhaul competition could indeed be the facilitator in obtaining the competitive outcome needed to ensure that a dynamic system is developed which will lead to innovation.
Industry collaboration will also be needed to limit the necessity for more regulation. In a dynamic environment time is money and there is no longer room for year-long regulatory processes. Trust needs to be built up to facilitate much speedier dispute resolution, preferably preventing these disputes from arising in the first place. Some early indications are that NBN Co is willing to sit down and make changes where it makes sense to create a better wholesale and retail environment for all involved.
Regional Telecommunications Review encourages creation of separate wholesale division for NBN; PoI (point of interconnect), CVC (Connectivity Virtual Circuit), wholesale, RSPs (retail service providers), pricing, Inabox signs deal with Total Telecom Group to migrate customers' PSTN services.
Companies mentioned in this report include:
Internode, M2, NBN, Nextgen, OPEL, Optus, Telstra, Inabox.
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