Australia’s ACCC issues final market report
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has published the final report of its communications sector market study, which includes 28 recommendations and actions on competition and consumer issues. It says, “Much has changed since the ACCC published its draft report in October 2017. Since then, the ACCC has secured eight court-enforceable undertakings from various internet service providers on National Broadband Network (NBN) speeds, and commenced an inquiry into NBN wholesale service standards.” NBN has also launched promotional pricing for its 50 Mbps speed product and CVC (connectivity) charges, responding to concerns by service providers, and the ACCC published the first Monitoring Broadband Australia report detailing broadband speed tests. The communications sector market study has found that the markets for broadband and voice services are operating competitively under the current regulatory arrangements, despite the levels of concentration. “Despite market concentration, competition in the sector is leading to lower prices, greater choice in services and service providers, and bigger inclusions for voice and broadband services on fixed and mobile networks,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said. The market study examined likely competition and efficiency developments in the communications sector over the next 5 years during which 5G technology will be adopted, the NBN rollout completed and the government’s plans announced. The ACCC is currently consulting stakeholders on licence allocation limits for the forthcoming auction of 3.6 GHz spectrum by the ACMA. This is part of a broader spectrum band that has been identified internationally for early deployment of 5G services. “While there is still some uncertainty about the nature and timing of 5G deployment, we are confident it will create great opportunities for both industry and consumers. 5G also has the potential to accelerate fixed to wireless substitution,” Sims said. “Importantly, the price and service performance of NBN services will influence the extent to which this substitution will occur.” The final report and a fact sheet are available here.
- Thursday, 26 April 2018