The regulatory hurdle that could thwart the NBN rollout

Regulatory uncertainty surrounding the compensation Telstra is scheduled to receive in exchange for shutting down its fixed-line network could have big consequences for the telco and for the delivery of the NBN.

The unusual (and quite blunt) intervention by Malcolm Turnbull and Mathias Cormann into an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission pricing inquiry has highlighted yet another threat to the smooth roll-out of the national broadband network.

In a letter to the commission that was disclosed yesterday, the ministers essentially warned the commission not to use its current inquiry into the pricing of access to Telstra’s fixed line infrastructure as a backdoor way of siphoning off the $11 billion of value (in net present value terms) Telstra is scheduled to receive from NBN Co and the government in exchange for progressively shutting down its fixed-line network. 

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