Senate debates

Thursday, 24 March 2011

National Broadband Network Companies Bill 2010; Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (National Broadband Network Measures — Access Arrangements) Bill 2011

In Committee

5:22 pm

Photo of Simon BirminghamSimon Birmingham (SA, Liberal Party, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Murray Darling Basin) Share this | Hansard source

Certainly. In section 2.17 of the majority report of the committee it highlights:

Telstra argued that the statutory terms ‘carrier’ and ‘carriage service provider’ are ill-suited to define NBN Co’s scope of business. Firstly, a carrier licence can be easily obtained and there is no requirement to use it to supply services to the public …

Quoting from Telstra’s submission, the report says:

It is very easy for a customer to ‘convert’ from a retail customer to a carrier, because a carrier licence can be readily obtained with minimal investment requirements, and there is no requirement that a person who holds a carrier licence actually use a network unit to supply services to the public. Once an entity becomes a carrier, NBN Co can supply that person, and the services supplied can be self consumed (by the entity or within its corporate group). This is a simple loophole enabling a corporate customer to buy communications services directly from NBN Co without being a retailer.

That is the key problem that I highlighted before. I will just repeat the last sentence:

This is a simple loophole enabling a corporate customer to buy communications services directly from NBN Co without being a retailer.

So, in fact, being a retail customer of NBN Co.—

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