The Federal Government has announced it will build its own 100 Mbps fibre-to-the-home broadband network, spending $43 million in conjunction with private investors over the next eight years.
Internode 'gobsmacked' by decision
Internode has welcomed the plan subject to reading the fine print - "and there will be a lot of it", managing director Simon Hackett posted to Whirlpool.
"I'm gobsmacked," Hackett said.
"If they do what they promise, they've actually got it right, and we might just turn into a broadband front-runner country ten years from now after all."
The fact that the proposed network is wholesale-only should give Telstra no grounds to delay or stop the build, he said.
Additionally, focusing on fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) avoids upgrades to the copper network and negates regulatory changes, Hackett said.
"The existing access regime can continue unchanged while the new network is put in, in parallel," he said.
"[Leaving the] existing copper network in place leaves [the] existing ADSL2+ market and competition un-impacted - meaning we've got many more years of useful ADSL2+ network building ahead of us in parallel to the emergence of the new network, to which we'll have access too, on an equal footing with everyone else.
"[It also means that] people who have invested in that [ADSL2+] landscape can recover that investment before the new network renders it obselete. But even then (like dialup) - the old stuff will stay around for ages too - and no-one loses."
Telstra: "no impact" in the short term
Telstra chairman Donald McGauchie said the NBN announcement will have little impact on Telstra in the short term.
"The new NBN will have little short- to medium-term financial impact on Telstra's business as it would take at least eight years before it is completed," he said in a statement.
"This announcement does not change our forecasts or our guidance for financial years 2008-2009 or 2009-2010."
McGauchie said he is looking forward to having "constructive conversations" with the Federal Government "at the earliest opportunity."
"Senator Conroy has said today that the Government does not have a pre-determined view on regulatory matters," he said.
"Telstra welcomes the opportunity to provide input on the regulatory reform discussion paper."
Primus: an historic decision
Primus CEO Ravi Bhatia applauded the Government's decision and said he was particularly keen on the regulatory reform packages announced along with it.
"The decisions taken today are truly historic, and are clearly decisions that only a confident and decisive Government could take," he said.
"It is clear the Government is serious about addressing Telstra's stranglehold and unlocking the competitive potential of the industry.
"As an industry we have been arguing for better competitive rights and raising many of these issues for some time now so it's satisfying to see a Government with the courage to deliver on the competition rhetoric and take these issues on. "
Issue: 315 | May 2013
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