Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Perspectives on the Telecommunications Reform Package

I will be talking on "Perspectives on the Telecommunications Reform Package" at the ATUG "Focus Forum on 2009 Telecommunications Reform Package" at NICTA in Canberra, 14 October 2009.

This will be followed by Professor Reg Coutts, a member of the Government’s Broadband Panel of Experts with a free talk on "The National Broadband Network: New Ways of Working" at the same venue, 5:30PM.

Perspectives on the Telecommunications Reform Package

ACS Telecommunication Society of Australia (ACS-TSA)

For the ATUG Focus Forum, Canberra, 14 October 2009

NBN Initiative

  • Platform and enabler for participation in the digital economy
  • Visionary: addressing Australia's inadequate investment in BB infrastructure
  • Also addresses inadequate regulation of market power in wholesale and retail markets
  • But what the NBN will deliver is not clear.

The high level issues

  • What will be the NBN's wholesale service?
  • What will be its guaranteed QoS?
  • NBN and national wholesale pricing?
  • Will the NBN serve IPTV providers with network neutrality?
  • How can transparency be achieved in the NBN's business practices?
  • Should an Industry Ombudsman be created for NBN retail performance issues?
  • What transitional arrangements and competitive protections?
  • Will competitors to the NBN really be permitted or even safeguarded?

What will be the NBN's wholesale service?

At least three components:

  • Implementation service
  • Transmission capability: point-to-point with guaranteed QoS re performance: bandwidth, outages etc
  • Maintenance service

What will be the guaranteed QoS?

Essential for the NBN to offer minimum guaranteed service levels for all service aspects within its (implementation, transmission, maintenance) to provide a basis on which retail service providers can offer QoS to their end customers, especially business customers.

  • Can the NBN offer multiple SLAs? Can it actually deliver a range of SLAs?
  • The realities of service bottlenecks in international links can be allowed for in service agreements

NBN and national wholesale pricing?

  • Costs vary with geography & density
    • Sparse population - high 'backhaul' costs
    • Low population densities
  • Elements of the solution
    • Multiple platforms : FTTP for 90%, advanced wireless and satellite for 10%
    • Multiple POIs
    • Backhaul 'network'
    • Cross subsidy within NBN

Will the NBN offer network neutrality?

Network Neutrality (NN): no differentiation by the NBN in terms of price or performance by content source:

  • Essential for competition
  • Allows competition in IPTV services
  • Requires a QoS supporting IPTV

Transparency in the NBN business?

NBN Co needs a transparent policy decision process:

  • Publishing all Board decisions after each meeting (ICANN model)
  • Industry Ombudsman

Is a new industry Ombudsman needed?

Transitional arrangements and protections

  • What transitional arrangements and competitive protections will apply for service providers using current networks?

Other Perspectives

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