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ACCC asks for comments on NBN pricing plan

The competition regulator has called for public consultation on the latest plan by the national broadband network (NBN) builder on wholesale broadband pricing.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) released its first consultation paper on the special access undertaking (SAU) lodged by the network’s builder, NBN Co, on September 28.

The undertaking sets out the terms of conditions and access to the NBN’s fibre, wireless and satellite networks until 2040, while providing the framework for NBN Co to deliver wholesale broadband prices across Australia.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims said the ACCC would assess the SAU before it could determine whether it was reasonable and promoted the long-term interests of retailers and consumers.

Read More: http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/accc-asks-for-comments-on-nbn-pricing-plan-20121112-297jq.html

All Systems Go – Telstra finalises NBN Agreement

Telstra, the NBN Co and the Commonwealth Government have today announced a finalised definitive agreement for Telstra’s inclusion into the National Broadband Network project and the structural separation of the company.
 

After a three year process of convoluted talks, negotiations and revised plans that were recently accepted by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Telstra CEO David Thodey stated that the company was very pleased (and most likely relieved) for the positive outcome for their customers, employees and shareholders.
 

The agreement is expected to provide Telstra with approximately $11 billion in post-tax net over an extended period.
 

Read more about the media release announcement at Telstra’s Media Centre – Telstra finalises $11 billion NBN agreements
 

ACCC approves Telstra structural separation plan

The ACCC have officially announced their approval of Telstra’s structural separation plans by today accepting their revised undertakings.
 

Prior to this announcment, the competition watchdog originally knocked back Telstra’s first submission by suggesting the Telco had not done enough to ensure they were going to play fair in both wholesale and retail operations after they were structurally separated.
 

More specifically, the ACCC were concerned with Telstra’s commercial interests involving wholesale ADSL contracts with competitors, and promoting wireless services that would compete against the NBN.
 

Today’s ACCC announcement now alleviates all these concerns and opens the way to a finalised Telstra-NBN Co agreement and has essentially signalled a major shift of structural reform within the Telecommunications industry and will thus strengthen competition as a result.
 

ACCC Press Release – ACCC accepts Telstra’s structural separation undertaking
 

Telstra finally signs deal for retail NBN services

After years of protracted discussions, negotiations and amendments with NBN Co, Telstra appears to finally be over the line and will commence selling retail broadband and telephone services across the National Broadband Network.
 

The deal which was signed by respective parties over the weekend comes as the Telstra recently lodged revised structural separation documents with the ACCC that will see the company split into retail and wholesale divisions.
 

It’s expected that the revisions will now appease the competition watchdogs’ previous requests for separation and wholesale requirements and hence will pave the way for the finalisation of the $11 billion dollar Telstra-NBN Co deal.
 

Telstra is also the last major Telecommunication carrier to have signed up to the NBN and now joins the likes of Optus, iiNet, TPG, Primus and others who have already signed with the NBN Co earlier this year.
 

The announcement of the finalised NBN Co – Telstra deal could come as early as this week.
 

Read more at smh.com.au – Telstra signs up for NBN fibre-optic superhighway
 

Nothing stopping Telstra separation and NBN deal

The ACCC and David Thodey have just publicly indicated that all concerns involving the deal with the government, structural separation and the National Broadband Network have now been resolved.
 

Mr Thodey, who is CEO of Telstra, announced that a revised structural separations document has been lodged with the ACCC which should now clear the way for the deal with the NBN Co. This process could be finalised within weeks and significantly push plans forward for the roll out of the NBN.
 

With the current prime ministerial leadership battle underway, the month of March could prove an important time for progress on many fronts let alone Telstra and the NBN.
 

Read more at smh.com.au – Telstra clears way for NBN deal
 

ACCC Regulate Telstra Wholesale ADSL Prices

Australian Internet Service Providers will be quietly celebrating upon the recent decision by the ACCC that involves regulating Telstra’s wholesale access pricing that it charges rivals for ADSL broadband services.
 

Telstra has essentially been made to significantly reduce wholesale prices that it charges rival Telco’s from $30 to $25.40 in metropolitan locations and from $37 to $30.80 in regional Australia.
 

It’s expected that the ACCC decision will promote further competition for fixed line broadband Internet services while the National Broadband Network is being constructed.
 

Read more at theaustralia.com.au – Telstra loses stranglehold on wholesale ADSL market

 

Further delays on Telstra structural separation

A last minute decision into Telstra’s revised structural separation plans has witnessed the ACCC issue an enquiry into wholesale ADSL pricing.

 

Essentially the ACCC is concerned that Telstra will continue to dominate the supply of retail and wholesale DSL services to its competitors and thus charge premium prices even after it is structurally separated.

 

It’s believed that there could be some ‘regulatory gaps’ that Telstra could possibly exploit in the Telco’s revised separation undertakings so its upon the ACCC to investigate this matter through an enquiry which is expected to be completed by January 19 2012.

 

Read more at itnews.com.au: Telstra rivals welcome wholesale inquiry

 

A candid Kestelman – He’s no Dodo

Most Australians who have compared Internet Service Providers have, for one reason or another, become very familiar with the company Dodo. Typically known for their cut price broadband and home phone products, the Telco has also had its fair share of altercations with the ACCC and Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) which has been heavily documented in the Australian Press.

 

Dodo Chief Executive Officer Larry Kestelman found himself in the unfortunate position of being confronted with TIO for all the wrong reasons including a $147,000 fine for violating telemarketing regulations. Mr Kestelman soon realised that bashing doors down to make things happen didn’t quite sit well with customers, the TIO and as a result the company’s bank account.

 

Speaking candidly with smh.com.au, Larry says that years spent on the quick road to success has finally caught up with him, and after some very dark days he realised that he had to truthfully take a look at himself and after which, changed his perspective on business administration. Now Mr Kestelman suggests that good business is not about technology or marketing, it’s about good customer service and after two years of transformation, he’s proud of what he has achieved.

 

Read more about the evolution of Larry at smh.com.au – Avoiding extinction: lessons from the Dodo

 

 

 

TPG sizing an iiNet acquisition

Conjecture continues to grow on a possible acquisition as industry analysts are predicting that an iiNet takeover by TPG makes increasing strategic sense due to the reaffirmed earnings by TPG yesterday.

 

The forecast for EBITDA is believed to be around $250-270 million and TPG have also indicated that their debt would be reduced by $100 million for the 2012 financial year. If a transaction were to occur, the end result has the potential to take up about 20% of the market share. However it’s likely that any type of acquisition would take quite some time to undertake.

 

Read more at smartcompany.com.au – Speculation grows over iiNet takeover as TPG reaffirms guidance, renegotiates debt

 

Updated on: Nov 22, 2011 by Admin
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In October this year TPG stealthily purchased a 4.4% share of iiNet which now sits at a healthy 5.1%. TPG stated they had no intention other than to own shares in iiNet for strategic reasons. Then again, what other purpose would there be for a rival Telco to buy shares in a competitor other than having fundamental intentions to apply a takeover at some stage?

 

iiNet CEO Michael Malone said he has not met with TPG’s management in relation to an acquisition and further stated that the ACCC places a 20% market share threshold which would make it difficult for companies who have a greater share than this to buy iiNet. That would strike out Telstra and Optus, however TPG would probably sit on the borderline. In addition to ACCC conditions, a takeover such as this would also require a public inquiry and may need to be examined by the Federal Government.

 

Whether TPG are actually considering an acquisition or not, there’s certainly signs there that flag this possibility. TPG’s 5.1% stake is a fairly obvious sign and one that is probably enough to cause Michael Malone and iiNet some concern.

 

Read more at delimiter.com.au – TPG buyout to require public inquiry, says iiNet

Telstra Shareholder Vote Yes for NBN Deal

Telstra shareholders signalled their approval for the NBN deal with a remarkable 99.09% of proxy votes in favour of the transaction which will net the Telco a staggering $11 billion for decommissioning its copper network and rolling customers on to the fibre National Broadband Network.

With regulatory uncertainty clouding the Telco for the past couple of years, Telstra’s board members would be quietly celebrating the outcome of the shareholder vote as it almost instantaneously provides stability and also places the Telco $4.7 billion greater than under the best available alternative.

All that stands in the way of a fully fledged NBN now are the concerns raised by the ACCC in relation to Telstra’s structural separation undertaking (SSU) that were submitted to the competition watchdog some time ago for approval.

Youcompare expects that Telstra will address and rectify these issues promptly as failure to do this by 31st December 2011 would activate a compulsory functional separation which would leave the ACCC and Communications Minister, Senator Stephen with greater control of how the Telstra’s retail and wholesale businesses would be separated.

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