• NBN must be stripped of monopoly power, says ACCC chairman Rod Sims

    Date: 2019.03.16 | Category: 苏州美甲美睫培训学校 | Tags:

    Rod Sims, head of the ACCC. Photo: Nic WalkerCompetition boss Rod Sims says the federal government must rip up the rules that give the national broadband network monopoly protection before splitting up its divisions and selling them off.

    Mr Sims is set to make the recommendations during a wide-ranging speech to the NBN Rebooted event in Sydney on Monday.

    NBN Co’s business case is propped up by legislation that stops rival telcos connecting users to new high-speed broadband networks. This boosts NBN Co’s profitability so it can stay off the budget, while helping pay for services in the bush.

    But Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Mr Sims will become the latest in a series of leading competition experts, including his predecessors Graeme Samuel and Allan Fels, to call for NBN Co’s monopoly powers to be clipped so its rivals can compete.

    “I can’t see any reason to keep it in government ownership once it’s built,” he told Fairfax Media. “It’ll be better to have infrastructure competition than an infrastructure monopoly.

    “Government should not limit competition in order to maximise the proceeds from the sale – there is too much at stake for that.”

    Under Mr Sims’ proposal, the hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC) networks used for cable television and broadband systems that NBN Co is buying from Telstra and SingTel-Optus would be spun off as a separate company.

    NBN Co’s satellite and other fixed-line networks would then be sold off separately, with all three organisations competing freely in the open market.

    Mr Sims warned that not doing so would risk NBN Co being launched with too much power.

    “If this is not done early it will be extremely difficult to do down the track,” he said. “[Separation] should be done prior to any privatisation of NBN Co.

    “After that it is highly unlikely that separation will ever occur.”

    The government-funded Vertigan panel into the NBN made similar suggestions and urged immediate action, which was rejected by Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

    The break-up of NBN Co would be a far cry from the ubiquitous NBN envisaged by Labor that was meant to connect 93 per cent of homes and businesses to a fibre-optic network.

    NBN Co has already prepared to split away the HFC networks as a separate company under NBN Co chief technology officer Dennis Steiger.

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