Regulatory regime holds back competition and investment says Unwired
Telstra’s push for an overhaul of Australia’s telecommunications regulatory regime gained significant support today, with a competitor revealing investment in new technologies and competitive services was being held back by the outdated regulatory framework.
Wireless broadband player Unwired used a submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to underline how the regime was negatively impacting on investment in alternative access technologies such as wireless broadband.
The Unwired submission also emphasised “some worrying trends in the decision making of the ACCC in relation to the operation of the telecommunications access regime” and criticised the ACCC’s position that there was little prospect for consumers to use services that did not rely on Telstra’s copper network.
Telstra’s Group Managing Director Public Policy and Communications David Quilty said Unwired’s stance highlighted some critical problems with the current regulations.
“Unwired is one of our competitors but they are saying the same thing - we need a pro-investment regime that is based on clearly enunciated principles that provide certainty, encourage investment and prevent inconsistent decision making and outcomes.”
“That is what Telstra is advocating,” Mr Quilty said.
Below-cost ULLS in the cities has hindered investment by Singtel Optus and TransACT to extend and upgrade their own networks as it is cheaper for them to buy ULLS from Telstra.
“Unwired is just like Telstra in that it wants a fair and consistent approach to regulation. A regulatory regime that doesn’t suit the 21st Century ultimately leaves consumers out in the cold. Consumers are deprived of choice, innovation and new technologies, all the staples expected of such a dynamic industry sector.”
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