NBN Exploring Ways To Promote Competition
Morrow noted linking to certain NBN hubs could potentially prove prohibitively expensive due to the distance of the backhaul, creating a barrier to entry and having the effect of limiting the amount of retail offers.
Retailers either link to the hubs by building their own fibre connections or by buying a connection from existing providers.
With the NBN consisting of 121 hubs, Morrow stated that about 40 are more expensive for retailers to connect to.
“What’s on our minds is whether this will present a barrier to entry that might limit retail offers, and in turn limit choice,” Morrow commented.
“If this turns out to be the case, there are a number of options we could explore to boost competition, however before we do anything, NBN – our preference would be to see the market respond.
“We are working with others who see a market opportunity by solving for this remote regional point of entry. At the end of the day, it’s about levelling the playing field and ensuring there is a low barrier to entry, and we would hope the markets will do just this.”
Fairfax Media has previously reported sources as stating NBN is working on a proposal to connect facilities itself and sell a wholesale service directly to new entrants.
Upcoming NBN developments to take place in the next few months include the commencement of fibre-to-the-node services, along with the launch of the first of NBN’s dedicated broadband satellites.