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Alternative Dimensional Business and Engineering Analysis 

Submissions to the Australian Government

Senate Inquiry into Broadband Competition (2003)

This inquiry in 2003 happened in the background without so much as a whisper.  When you look at the terms of reference it is not too hard to understand that the Ministers and Senators were grappling with what to do with Telstra because it was not making the profits that the Bankers and Financial Sleuths in the Business World had ‘pledged’ it would when privatised, and they had passed the buck back to the Government to ‘fix the problem’! 

The real problem was that restructuring of Telecom Australia to take it away from providing an excellent essential service into making it into a privatised business focussed on shareholder value was a fundamental problem.  Nothing is going to fix this structural problem until the Government realises the huge error and restructures the infrastructure back under government control where it should have never left. 

The Terms of Reference for this inquiry were as follows:

  1. the current and prospective levels of competition in broadband services, including interconnection and pricing in both the wholesale and retail markets;

  2. any impediments to competition, and to the uptake of broadband technology;

  3. the implications of communications technology convergence on competition and other emerging markets; 

  4. the impact and relationship between ownership of content and distribution of content on competition; and 

  5. any opportunities to maximise the capacity and use of the existing broadband structure.

 As a consequence of this TOR, I produced a 26 page Submission and I was later called to give evidence to the Senate Hearing Committee on the 13th November 2003. 

 As a follow-on from that giving of evidence, I produced an additional 7 Page Submission to further explain the questions posed and demonstrated that:

  • Remote Integrated Multiplexers (RIMs) were a major impediment to rolling out Broadband. The limitations of ADSL over pair copper made ADSL a very ‘stop-gap’ technology that should not be pursued.

  • Fibre to the Home or Premises (FTTH / FTTP) has a distance advantage that gets it well past 50 km and can do 68 km without splitting with technology of the day, meaning that 60 km. range is quite possible for the ‘new standard’ Broadband CAN distance. 

  • Australia has ‘dropped the ball’ when it comes to Optical Fibre technology and manufacturing. 

  • Australia has a oversupply of Lawyers as Managers but an undersupply of IP Litigation Lawyers. 

  • There are many competitive based activities in the telecommunications industry that are not in the public interest for Australians. 

  •  If the telecommunications industry in Australia is to become more efficient in business terms, then the Wholesale (Network) part needs to be separate from the Retail part – and only the retail part needs to be the privatised part, because there are considerable inherent business inefficiencies in having duplicated infrastructures. 

 

Copyright © Malcolm Moore, 2000-2009.   Comments and Corrections are welcome