Thursday, 8 February 2018
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) on 30 October 2017, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC) draft report for the Communications Sector Market Study recommended that "the Government consider whether NBN Co should continue to be obliged to recover its full cost of investment through its prices", and that other options should be examined, including direct budget funding,
(ii) the requirement on NBN Co to make a commercial return is compromising its ability to deliver a fast, reliable, affordable, and future-proof network to all Australians,
(iii) the connectivity virtual circuit (CVC) charge, levied by NBN Co on Retail Service Providers (RSPs), is necessitating that RSPs choose between quality (reliability, speed and congestion) and affordability of available services, and
(iv) on 16 January 2018, the Government released its response to the report of the Joint Standing Committee on the National Broadband Network, in which it reaffirmed its commitment to rollout the Multi Technology Mix with the existing business model; and
(b) calls on the Government to accept the ACCC's recommendations to:
(i) reconsider whether NBN Co should be obliged to recover its full cost of investment through its prices, in light of the impact that this obligation is having on quality of internet services being delivered to Australians, and
(ii) examine other options for funding the NBN, including direct budget funding.
The Australian government recognises the importance of affordable access to telecommunications. By rolling out the NBN more quickly and at less cost, millions of Australians now have vastly approved access to high-speed broadband, but the economic reality of building a new generation network means that somebody does have to pay for it. The government has worked to ensure that Australians will pay less for the internet than would have been the case if the previous Labor government's model had been pursued. Through the government's incremental upgrade approach to the rollout, better broadband will be delivered across Australia six years sooner than would have been the case otherwise, at $30 billion less cost to taxpayers and without the need for home internet bills to climb by more than $500 a year.