Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Australian Broadband

One of the discussion I have been heavily into at the moment is the current state of the Australian Broadband industry. The present monopoly of Telstra is, for all intent and purposes, a hinderance to broadband growth. For most other countries with competitive telecommunication industries, serious advances for end user access online have been achieved. Notables are South Korea, Japan in Asia, Finland, Sweden and other advance European countries, and of course, North America.

Most think we do not have the population base, city density or handicapped with our huge land mass per capital. Of course, these are all valid points to the slow growth of broadband. But surely we need to advance and face these challenges. The biggest limitation lies on the mess that is Telstra. Those who do not live in Australia need to understand the huge monopoly it has and control the telecommunication industry. Telstra, a former government operation as Telecom, has over 90% of all Australian telecommunication infrastructure. This means they have a huge hold on the market.

Competition like Optus, AAPT and others may have smaller networks of their own but still mostly access to Telstra lines for its networks. This was made possible by government intervention and legislation by Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). The possibly for change is presently changing as Telstra is going forth to its full sale next year. It will be interesting to see what will change, if at all, to the broadband industry then.

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