Telco group launches broadside against NBN Co board

Commpete assails NBN leadership over state of competition

Commpete, a group that describes itself as representing Australia’s “challenger” telcos, has called on NBN Co’s board to resign.

In a statement released today, the group attacked what it claimed was a failure by NBN Co to deliver a more competitive telecommunications sector.

It cited NBN wholesale market data released by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which shows Australia’s big carriers continue to dominate.

The most recent figures released by the ACCC, covering the three-month period to the end of December 2018, reveal that Telstra had a 49.6 per cent market share. It was followed by TPG (21.6 per cent), Optus (13.6 per cent), and Vocus (8.6 per cent), with ‘others’ making up just 6.6 per cent.

The percentages in the quarterly ACCC report are compiled on a wholesale basis, so don’t precisely reflect the retail market share of telcos.

“The goal should be 30 per cent market share to challenger retailers,” Commpete chair Michelle Lim said.

“Even more damning than this record of failure is the complete silence from NBN about how it is going to change to fulfil its core mission of lifting competition,” Lim said.

“The board has presided over this complacency and now must take responsibility for it.”

(As a government-owned company, NBN Co is governed by the caretaker conventions during the election period.)

Commpete’s members are Macquarie Telecom, TasmaNet, MNF Group, Inabox, MyRepublic, and Southern Phone Company. The group was originally named the Competitive Carriers Coalition before a 2018 rebrand.

Amaysim was formerly a member — the telco in October last year sold its fixed-line broadband customer base to Southern Phone. MNF Group recently announced it would also exit the residential broadband market, also selling its customers to Southern Phone.

Vocus in February said it would no longer seek to grow its share of the NBN consumer market. Vocus, whose consumer brands include iPrimus and Dodo, cited the complexity of NBN pricing, a lack of pricing stability and operational complexity.

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Tags nbn coTelecommunicationsNational Broadband Network (NBN)Commpete

More about AustraliaAustralian Competition and Consumer CommissioniPrimusMacquarie TelecomMNF GroupMyRepublicnbnNBN CoOptus

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