In the typical way of Telstra, Australia’s former public telecommunications organisation is proposing rolling out infrastructure that is already outdated in other countries. While they try to sell the dream of Fibre-to-the-Node (FTTN) technology as the latest, greatest internet connectivity, countries including Japan and the US are running the fibre-optic cables right up to the front door of users, giving massively more bandwidth than is possible through FTTN.
From The Age’s Business Day, here are a few interesting tidbits on Telstra’s anti-competitive assholery:
PHIL Burgess has again shown that he is not across the facts of broadband in this country, or continues to deliberately distort facts and reality to the point of completely misrepresenting the situation.
More recently, Telstra executives said the company would not give anyone else the information needed to build a fibre network. Then they said that Telstra had locked up the contractors that can build a fibre network. And there have been threats of suing the Government, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the G9 companies if they were granted access to the copper sub-loop to interconnect their network.
But why does that not bother Burgess and his fellow Telstra executives? To people in the telecommunications industry it is clear. The purpose of Telstra’s FTTN scheme is to strand and torch the investments of its competitors. It is a tactic designed to totally distort competition and restore monopoly. It’s not about delivering broadband benefits to consumers. Telstra’s plan is to remove certainty around infrastructure investment decisions with the end-game of rendering competitive infrastructure redundant and worthless. The plan has no regard for the interests of consumers.
Government policy and the work of the ACCC has led to significant deployment of high-speed broadband by a great number of service providers, including Optus, Telstra and Primus. And consumers continue to reap the benefits of an open and competitive industry. Many consumers already have access to high-speed broadband. This is despite Telstra executives choosing not to release high-speed products. Telstra previously advised it had already built a nationwide ADSL2+ network but wouldn’t release it to the public unless the Government changed some of the laws the Telstra executives didn’t like. These laws have been in place a long time and it’s all credit to the Government for not backing down.
It is a fact that competition policy delivers benefits to consumers. Telstra was given custodianship of the monopoly network — a national asset — with the clear understanding that competition required access to that national asset. It was also clearly understood that Telstra would provide access to that national asset on fair and reasonable terms.