MICHELLE ROWLAND MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS
MEMBER FOR GREENWAY
TEMPORARY CAPACITY RELIEF FOR TELCOS SHOULD BE CONSIDERED IF NBN BECOMES CONGESTED
Consideration should be given to providing retail providers with temporary capacity charge relief, in the event NBN speeds become congested as COVID19 leads more employees and children to use the internet from home.
At present, retail providers must purchase Connectivity Virtual Circuit (CVC) capacity from the NBN to support their peak hour traffic demands, in addition to an access price for the network.
If COVID19 social distancing measures, such as teleworking and school closures, result in increased peak traffic demand over the NBN, it could lead to congested speeds or higher wholesale costs for retail providers.
The NBN already supports significant peak hour data consumption, and for the time being, the capacity purchased by retail providers appears to be appropriate to meet these demands.
However, if peak demand overtakes capacity, this may present telecommunications providers with a decision to either incur greater costs or to tolerate greater levels of NBN speed congestion.
Labor considers these unique circumstances do lend themselves towards NBNCo providing retail providers with temporary and targeted capacity relief should these circumstances arise over the COVID19 period.
These developments will need to be monitored as for the time being it’s too early to tell how the situation might play out.
Labor welcomes steps by the Minister, NBNCo and industry to examine these issues early on.
Historically, there has been a lot of tension between NBNCo and retail providers on CVC pricing. If the need arises, this presents an opportunity for NBNCo to make a temporary gesture of goodwill in the public interest.
MONDAY, 16 MARCH 2020