It’s amazing. Out of all that Telstra do that is wrong, they actually (inadvertently) got something right. That is, the influence they tried to cause by making issues surrounding regulation political.
Since doing that, they have continually bagged the current government, in an effort to influence the voters to vote Labor.
And, they seem to all have followed that path quiet well. Telstra’s influence of shareholders might actually pay off.
The Labor party communications spokesperson made an announcement today, and whilst I still think of him as an uninformed idiot, he is actually now going to get my vote.
Why do I vote for the uninformed idiot over the proven, somewhat informed, good policy of Coonan?
Simple. He has a plan to fix one of the major problems that plague the ISP industry, Telstra, Bigpond and its extreme anti competitive behaviour.
The current government have set about trying to increase competition through regulation, but has failed, and some might say near miserably. I won’t put us there, because they have done a good enough job of getting competition happening.
Operational Seperation however, does NOT work. It doesn’t see results. It sees only artificial competition at the level of wholesale, whereby Bigpond has products marketed and launched before competitiors are even able to access a service.
It’s all very clear anti competitive behaviour which disadvantages competition.
It’s pricing, also extremely questionable.
So, the Labor party has a plan to solve the botched, ineffective operational seperation plan.
Put Bigpond and all other Telstra retail entities on equal terms as competitors by legislating that it must do business with the wholesale body.
That solves a great deal of the unfair problem and creates a field that is somewhat level.
If Bigpond can have ADSL2+ at prices only minorly higher than ADSL1 uncapped prices, so should competition. The competition can do their own ADSL2+ services cheaper.
For some reason however, the prices of the wholesaled ADSL1 service are disproportionately higher than available ADSL2+ services.
The solution is found by simply forcing Telstra’s own prices to be at the same cost levels as all other ISPs who wholesale using the Telstra network.
Bigpond will need to fund their own AGVCs. Bigpond will need to buy ADSL2+ ports from Telstra Wholesale. Bigpond will need to pay for.. well, all services from Telstra Wholesale.
Completely fair. It stops the anti competitive behaviour in its tracks at the retail level. Wholesale competition should open up more after that.
The ALP are also committing themselves to getting FTTN off the ground within 6 months of being elected. That’s good results. Better than Howard results.
Further, the ALP have a tougher stance on Telstra. The regime will be tougher for Telstra. Which is good. They’ve had a far too easy ride on the pockets of honest consumers and honest competition for too long. They need to do things tough like every other competitor has to. The ground needs to be fair.
FTTN will almost certainly be done by Telstra. I think the legal disputes will pose too much for anyone else to do it (but that could also be untrue, and they might go in for the fight, good on them if they do). But if Telstra do build it in the ALP scenario, I see just one potential problem, the ALP has a conflict of interest in ensuring the consumers get competitive services, at the same time as the competition not being disadvantaged, at the same time, ensuring they get a return.
That all is a big mixup and I think will somewhere down the track recreate the issues we have now.
I figure however, 3 years can’t do toooo much damage, and they do seem to offer a lot of good, so with that focus, if they do push on and do well, we will have the chance in 3 years to see what the Liberals are offering then to get back in. I do see the argument that they have done little in the way of infrastructure for Australia. The time has come for them to pay, November 24. Just 10 days away. Unless of course, they counter that with another “me too” and some other sweetener promises to sway my decision again.
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