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

8:21 pm

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

I am looking at the definition here of a non-communications service. It means a service other than a service that is ancillary or incidental to the supply by an NBN corporation of an eligible service. So in fact non-communications service does not necessarily mean that NBN Co. cannot provide a service that seems unrelated to communications. It just means that the way a non-communications service has been defined in the act provides a fairly broad reach of opportunity to say that pretty much anything that is ancillary or incidental to the supply of an eligible service is therefore an appropriate service for NBN Co. to be supplying.

The opposition is not convinced that any reasonable consideration or interpretation of the act would not ensure that, were our amendment to be approved, things that are incidental or ancillary would logically be considered part of an eligible service. However, we would have thought that that is a sensible approach to, again, enable us to be certain, be confident and prevent any semblance of mission creep by NBN Co.—any sense that they may start to provide services other than genuine ACCC-approved eligible services.

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