Feeds

Sims outlines Oz network regulation again

Calming the debate

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

As the ACCC, under the hand of new chair Rod Sims, settles down to the work of sifting through submissions about NBN wholesale access, there’s probably a sense of relief at the welcome distraction provided by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Normally, having the new chair of the ACCC discuss the NBN in a speech – as he did on October 10th to the Melbourne Press Club – would give rise to all manner of expert “reading between the lines” to interpret what he said.

But the EIU, by restating its opposition to the NBN in the press release for its six-monthly broadband report, was the attention-grabber of the day, especially when opposition communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull seized on the EIU’s boilerplate to liken the National Broadband Network to Cuba.

So Sims’ statements were largely passed over.

The full speech is here as a PDF, with his comments on the telecommunications sector beginning on page 8.

What’s interesting in Sims’ statements is not that he identifies the live issues in the NBN rollout – but how apparently mild his statements are.

Let’s compare what he said about airports, Internet search and the grocery business to what he said about the NBN:

Airports – “There is considerable concern that the major airports operate as monopolists in their markets … the ACCC agrees.”

Search – “The ACCC did not win in the Federal Court, but there is no question that the law in this rapidly expanding area of commerce needs clarification.”

Supermarkets – “The ACCC can and will watch closely to ensure any such dealings [between supermarkets and suppliers] do not involve unconscionable conduct.”

The NBN – “We intend to engage constructively with NBN, its access seekers and consumers as we settle the regulatory arrangements for the NBN.”

Even his strongest statement about telecommunications – that the market needs a “robust regulatory regime” covering both pricing and network access – seems comparatively sanguine.

And, unlike the EIU, which considers the NBN to be a destroyer of all competition – you can read the AAP treatment here, if you think it’s worth your time – the ACCC has a more measured and accurate description of the network.

“The extensive fibre-to-the-premises infrastructure will be a fixed-line [monopoly] for the supply of input services to telecommunications companies, who in turn provide voice and broadband services to consumers,” he said (our emphasis, and our substitution of “monology” with “monopoly” to fix what looks like a transcription error).

It seems that Sims – and by extension, the ACCC, since his advice is coming from experts within the Commission – believes that the right access arrangements can preserve competition for consumers, and even lead to “continuing reductions in prices”. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday
Customer: 'Please change your name to occasionally somewhere'
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?