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Vertigan and the Future: It’s Complicated

On this week’s CrossTalk Phil Dobbie, back from a month’s break, tries to get his head around the first report from the Vertigan Panel, the group charged with providing recommendations for telecommunications regulation and the long awaited cost benefit analysis.

The first report focuses on access regimes. With the help of James Halliday, partner at law firm Baker & McKenzie, we walk through some of the recommendations from the panel, including the option for NBNCo to offer discriminatory pricing and the proposal to make Vectored VDSL a declared service.

iiNet’s Chief Regulatory Officer Steve Dalby thinks it’s less clear in other important areas – for example, in the right for access seekers to turn to the ACCC when a supplier fails to provide a satisfactory resolution. Currently, he says, when dealing with Telstra or NBNCo, it’s pretty much a take it or leave it situation.

Phil Dobbie speculates on the circumstances in which the recommendations apply – is it based on an NBNCo model similar to today’s (simply changing the technology mix) or a situation where NBNCo’s access role is superseded by other providers. It’s difficult, surely, to provide a clear set of proposals without government policy tied down in detail. Perhaps the answer is reliant on the cost-benefit analysis. Perhaps not.

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