[LINK] National Broadband Network Discussion Paper

Tom Worthington Tom.Worthington at tomw.net.au
Wed Apr 8 11:42:09 AEST 2009

In the initial excitement of the Australian Government's decision to 
scrap the previous National Broadband Network (NBN) tender process, 
some of the subtleties of the new plan may not have been noticed. The 
new plan is to establish a majority government owned company, to 
build a network over eight years and operate it. But other aspects of 
the new plan appear to be very similar to the policy of the previous 
government, including lavish funding of projects in Tasmania and an 
emphasis on 'black spots' in regional and rural areas.

Legislation for requiring fibre optic technology in green fields 
developments may be difficult for the federal government to implement 
as planning is a state responsibility. There may be a need for the 
federal government to provide some incentives to state governments 
and private developers to encourage them to do this. The NSW Minister 
for Planning is talking on "Planning in New South Wales - Responding 
to the Global Economic Crisis" at the University of Sydney, this 
evening. This might be the opportunity to investigate how the new 
federal policy could help NSW land planning.

The most significant and effective part of the new policy may be the 
last part mentioned in the announcement and given least emphasis, 
which is the changes needed to the telecommunications regulatory 
regime. Changes to regulations could make it easier for carriers to 
share infrastructure and also force them to do so, where that is in 
the public interest. This may do more to provide broadband widely and 
at a reasonable cost, than any other part of the new policy. The 
consultative process on the proposed changes will be interesting.

More at: 

Excerpt from paper: 

Tom Worthington FACS HLM tom.worthington at tomw.net.au Ph: 0419 496150
Director, Tomw Communications Pty Ltd            ABN: 17 088 714 309
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617                      http://www.tomw.net.au/
Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Australian National University  

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